Sports Science

Marathon Stride Rate Dynamics: A Case Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate stride rate (SR) dynamics of a recreational runner participating in his debut marathon. Tibial accelerometry data obtained during a half marathon (R1) and marathon (R2) were utilised. SR data were extracted utilising novel computational methods and descriptive statistics were utilised for analysis of R2, and comparison of the first half of the marathon (R2half) to R1. Results indicate that the participant employed comparable SR strategy in R1 and R2half. For R2 a combined decreasing trend in SR and increased variance in SR from 30 km (R2 =0.0238) was observed. Results indicate that the participant had the ability to maintain SR strategy for the first half of the marathon, however as fatigue onset occurred this ability decreased. Running strategies on SR during fatigue may be of future use to recreational runners.
Listed In: Biomechanics, Gait, Sports Science

Hamstring Stiffness is Related to Anterior Tibial Translation when Transitioning from Non-weight Bearing to Weight Bearing

Anterior tibial translation (ATT) is shown to load the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as the knee transitions from non-weight bearing (NWB) to weight bearing (WB). Therefore, any factors able to effectively reduce ATT during initial WB would theoretically reduce ACL loading. This study evaluated the extent to which hamstring musculo-articular stiffness (KHAM) is associated with ATT as the knee transitions from NWB to WB in 10 healthy females (19.9 ± 1.5 yrs, 1.65 ± 0.06 m, 62.3 ± 6.3 kg). Linear regression revealed that KHAM predicted 48.6% of the variance in ATT (R^2 = .486, p = .025), with higher KHAM being associated with less ATT. KHAM is modifiable through training, and thus may be an important factor to consider from ACL injury prevention and rehabilitation perspectives.
Listed In: Biomechanics, Sports Science

Effects of a leaf spring structured midsole shoe on the foot kinematics in overground and treadmill running

The concept of a leaf spring structured midsole shoe (LEAF) is based on shifting the foot anteriorly during the first part of stance phase in heel-toe running. The aim of the current study is to analyze the effects of a LEAF compared to a standard foam midsole shoe (FOAM) on the foot kinematics in overground and treadmill running at two running speeds. Nine male heel strikers ran on a treadmill with the LEAF and the FOAM at 3 and 4 m/s, each for 5 min. Furthermore, the participants performed with both shoes six runs each on a 40 m indoor track at running speeds of 3 and 4 m/s. For one stance phase the ground reaction forces were measured using a force plate imbedded in the track. Running speed and shoe order were randomized. Kinematics (VICON, 200Hz) and kinetics (AMTI, 1000Hz; only overground) were used to calculate the anterior shift of the foot, the foot ground angle at heel strike (FGA at HS) and the horizontal path of the center of pressure (COP). The LEAF increases the anterior foot shift in treadmill and overground running at both running speeds compared to the FOAM, without changing the individuals’ strike pattern. Furthermore, the anterior foot shift affects the COP leading to an overall enlarged COP path. These findings indicate a benefit of the structured midsole on performance at least at moderate running speeds
Listed In: Biomechanics, Sports Science

Stud Type Affects Knee Biomechanics on Infilled Synthetic Turf during a 180° Cut, but not during a Single-Leg Land-Cut Task

Higher ACL injury frequencies have been reported on synthetic turfs compared to natural turfs. However, assessments of cleat stud type on lower extremity biomechanics worn on these surfaces are limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the knee biomechanics of a non-studded running shoe (RS), a football shoe with natural turf studs (NTS), and with synthetic turf studs (STS) during single-leg land-cut and 180°-cut tasks on synthetic turf. Fourteen recreational football players performed five trials of 180°-cut and land-cut tasks in the three shoe conditions on an infilled synthetic turf. Knee biomechanics were analyzed using a 2x3 (task x shoe) repeated measures ANOVA followed by post-hoc paired samples t-tests (p<0.05). For the 180° cut, 1st peak internal knee adduction moments were increased in RS and STS compared to NTS (Table) and in 1st peak knee extensor moments in RS compared NTS and STS. The peak negative knee extensor power was increased in RS compared to NTS and STS. The land-cut had significantly greater peak extensor moments, sagittal plane powers, and abduction angles, and significantly lower adduction moments compared to the 180°-cut. As expected, the land-cut movement involved increased power absorption, power generation, and extensor moment compared to the 180°-cut. However, shoe effects lie only in the 180°-cut. Decreased medial ground reaction force1, knee adduction and extensor moments in NTS suggest the knee may be in a safer environment using these studs during cutting maneuvers. Reduced knee adduction moments in NTS could have implications in non-contact ACL injury.
Listed In: Biomechanics, Gait, Sports Science

Biochemical markers of type II collagen degradation and synthesis are not associated with biomechanical variables in patients following ACL reconstruction.

This study investigated the association of serum C-propeptide (sCPII), urinary CTX-II (uCTX-II), and uCTX-II:sCPII with peak vertical ground reaction force (PVGRF) and quadriceps strength during jump-landing in patients with ACL reconstruction (ACLR). METHODS: twenty two patients with ACLR (Male=14, age=19.6 ± 4 yr) were tested 20 weeks after the surgery. Blood and urine samples were collected. sCPII and uCTX-II, biomarkers of articular degradation and synthesis respectively, were analyze using commercial ELISAs. Subjects performed 3 trials of a forward drop land and a drop vertical jump. Subjects started on a 20 cm step and landed on a force platform (AMTI). PVGRF was analyzed on the surgical side. Quadriceps strength (PKET) was assessed with an isokinetic dynamometer (60°/s). PVGRF and PKET were normalized to body weight (BW). Pearson’s correlation, with and without adjustment for age, was used to analyze associations among variables. RESULTS: Mean (± SD) log concentrations were 2.88 ± 0.19 and 3.32 ± 0.49 ng/mmol for sCPII and uCTX-II respectively; and for uCTXII:CPII was 1.16 ± 0.18. PVGRF was 3.2 BW ± 0.3 and 1.4 BW ± 0.3 for the forward drop land and drop vertical jump tasks, respectively; PKET was 0.92 BW ± 0.2. There were no significant correlations among variables (p≥0.2), except for a trend towards a positive correlation between PKET and uCTXII:sCPII (r = 406, p = .076). CONCLUSSIONS: Biomarkers of type II collagen metabolism were not associated with jump-landing forces. However, higher quadriceps strength may be associated with a shift in articular cartilage metabolism towards degradation.

Listed In: Biomechanics, Orthopedic Research, Physical Therapy, Sports Science

The Influence of Trunk Posture on Hip and Knee Moments during Over-ground Running

A high incidence of lower extremity injuries has been reported in runners, with half of the injuries occurring at the knee joint. Sagittal plane trunk posture was shown to influence hip and knee kinetics during landing. This suggests trunk posture may be a risk factor of running injuries. The purpose of this study was aimed to examine the influence of sagittal plane trunk posture on hip and knee kinetics during running. Forty runners were recruited. Three-dimensional kinematics (250Hz, Qualisys) and ground reaction force data (1500Hz, AMTI) were collected while subjects ran with a self-selected trunk posture (speed: 3.4m/s). Mean trunk flexion angle and peak hip and knee extensor moments during the stance phase were calculated. Subjects were dichotomized into High-Flex and Low-Flex groups based on trunk flexion angles. On average, the two groups demonstrate 7.4°difference in trunk flexion. Independent t-tests showed that the Low-Flex group demonstrated significantly higher knee extensor moments and lower hip extensor moments compared to the High-Flex group. Pearson correlations showed that trunk flexion angle was positively correlated with peak hip extensor moment (r=0.44) and inversely correlated with peak knee extensor moment (r=-0.51). The results suggested a small difference in trunk flexion angle has significant influences on hip and knee kinetics. Individuals who run with a more upright trunk posture may be predisposed to a higher risk of patellar tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain. Incorporating a forward lean trunk may be utilized as an intervention strategy to reduce knee loading and risk of knee injuries in runners.

Listed In: Biomechanics, Physical Therapy, Sports Science

Residual Force Enhancement in Context of Everyday Human Movement

When an active muscle is stretched, the resulting post-eccentric steady-state force is known to be greater than the isometric force at the corresponding muscle length. The aim of our research was to clarify if residual force enhancement (RFE) is relevant for voluntary human muscle action in everyday like scenarios. Therefore 13 healthy subjects participated in our study and had to perform bilateral leg extensions using a motor-driven leg press dynamometer, measuring external reaction forces (Fext) as well as activity of 9 lower extremity muscles. In addition, ankle (Ma) and knee (Mk) joint torque were calculated using inverse dynamics. Subjects performed isometric and isometric-eccentric-isometric contractions (20° stretch, ω=60°/s) at 30% of maximum voluntary activation. Visual feedback of VL muscle activation was given to control submaximal muscle action. We did not find differences in VL activation level between contraction conditions and time points. Mean VL activity ranged between 29.1 ± 2.2% and 29.8±2.5% MVA. We found significantly enhanced Fext (p < 0.002) as well as joint torques in knee (p < 0.002) and ankle joint (p < 0.033) for all instances in time. In summary RFE seems to be relevant in everyday like human motion.

Listed In: Biomechanics, Sports Science

Accelerometry for outdoor effort quantification

Assessing the lower limb properties in-situ is of a major interest for analyzing the athletic performance. From a physical point of view, the lower limb could be modeled as single linear spring which supports the whole body mass. The main mechanical parameter studied when using this spring-mass-model is the leg-spring stiffness (k). In laboratory conditions, the movements are assessed using a force plate (Meth1) which measures the ground reaction force (GRF), and a motion capture system which could estimate the displacement of the centre of mass (CoM). In this way, k is calculated as shown in equation (2).More recent methods allow to calculate k in field conditions by using either foot switches (Meth2) or accelerometry-based instruments (Meth3) which are both wireless devices. The associated calculated methods assume that force-time signal is a sine wave, described by the equation (3) with equation (4) (CT: contact time; FT: flight time). In these cases, the kinematic measurement (CoM) could be calculated either by a mathematical approach (Eq.(5)) (meth2), or by double integrating the acceleration (meth3) in order to calculate k.Thanks to their transportability, the methods 2 and 3 offer not only the possibility to assess the lower limb movements, but also, to objectively follow up the athletic abilities (performance, reactivity, force and power, stiffness) in-situ.

Listed In: Biomechanical Engineering, Biomechanics, Sports Science


Purpose: Total Hip Replacements (THR) are common procedures for older people who suffer from degenerative joint disease. Golf is a popular leisure sport played by older Americans including those with THR. Hip torques encountered in a golf swing after THR has not been reported. The purpose of this study is to describe 3D hip joint torques generated during a golf swinging by those with THR. Methods: Three male amateur golfers who were at least 1 year post THR (ages 59-71 year old and right hand dominant, (2 were left THR) participated. Golf handicap ranged from 16-18. All participants completed the Hip Harris Score. Passive reflective markers were placed on key boney anatomical landmarks. During data collection, participants completed ten swings using a standardized driver, after a warm up. Kinetics and kinematics were captured using a 10 camera Motion Analysis system and two AMTI forceplates. Inverse dynamics procedure was used to calculate peak hip torques in all three planes. Hip torques were normalized and presented as internal torques. Comparisons were made to previously collected similarly aged senior group. Results: Average Club head velocity was slower than senior group. Sagittal Plane: THR golfers exhibited the greatest torque similar to senior group. Frontal plane: THR golfers demonstrated a lower hip adductor torque on the lead leg compared to the trail leg and senior group. Transverse plane: THR exhibited higher hip external rotation torques compared to the internal rotation torques and the senior group. Conclusion: 3-D peak hip torques generated during the golf swing by persons with a THR are greatest in the sagittal plane. THR golfers demonstrated slower club head speed but generated higher hip torques in the transverse plane as compared to those without a THR. Hip external rotation torque was higher in all of the THR compared to the senior group. Clinical Significance: Subjects with a THR may be prone to abnormal forces in the transverse plane during the golf swing. Future studies are needed to determine impact on return to golf decisions following a THR.
Listed In: Biomechanics, Physical Therapy, Sports Science