Journal of applied biomechanics (J APPL BIOMECH )

Publisher: International Society of Biomechanics; International Society for the Biomechanics of Sport, Human Kinetics


The Journal of Applied Biomechanics (JAB) is a quarterly journal devoted to the study of human biomechanics in sport, exercise, and rehabilitation. JAB brings you complete coverage of the applied aspects of biomechanics. In each issue, you'll find research articles, clinical studies, and other pertinent information highlighting current advances in the field. JAB is an official journal of the International Society of Biomechanics.

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    Journal of applied biomechanics, JAB
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Human Kinetics

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    • Publisher last contacted on 05/12/2013
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The principal source of measurement error in 3-D analyses is the definition of the joint centre about which segmental rotations occur. The hip joint has received considerable attention in 3-D modelling analyses yet the reliability of the different techniques for the definition of the knee joint centre has yet to be established. This study investigated the reliability of five different knee joint centre estimation techniques, femoral epicondyle, femoral condyle, tibial ridge, plug-in-gait and functional. Twelve male participants walked at 1.25 m.s-1; 3-D kinetics/ kinematics of the knee and ankle were collected. The knee joint centre was defined twice using each technique (test-and-retest) and the joint kinetic/ kinematic data was applied to both. Wilcoxon rank tests and intraclass correlations (ICC) were utilized to compare test and retest angular parameters and kinematic waveforms. The results show significant differences in coronal and transverse planes angulation using the tibial ridge, plug-in-gait and functional methods. The strongest test-retest ICC’s were observed for the femoral epicondyle and femoral condyle configurations. The findings from the current investigation advocate that the femoral epicondyle and femoral condyle techniques for the estimation of the knee joint centre are currently the most reliable techniques.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 11/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Greater lower extremity joint stiffness may be related to the development of tibial stress fracture in runners. Musculotendinous stiffness is the largest contributor to joint stiffness, but it is unclear what factors contribute to musculotendinous stiffness. The purpose of this study was to compare plantarflexor musculotendinous stiffness, architecture, geometry, and Achilles tendon stiffness between male runners with and without a history of tibial stress fracture. 19 healthy runners (age=21±2.7 years; mass=68.2±9.3 kg; height=177.3± 6.0 cm) and 19 runners with a history of tibial stress fracture (age=21±2.9 years; mass=65.3±6.0 kg; height=177.2±5.2 cm) were recruited from community running groups and the university's varsity and club cross-country teams. Plantarflexor musculotendinous stiffness was estimated from the damped frequency of oscillatory motion about the ankle follow perturbation. Ultrasound imaging was used to measure architecture and geometry of the medial gastrocnemius. Dependent variables were compared between groups via one-way ANOVAs. Previously injured runners had greater plantarflexor musculotendinous stiffness (P<.001), greater Achilles tendon stiffness (P=.004), and lesser Achilles tendon elongation (P=.003) during maximal isometric contraction compared to healthy runners. No differences were found in muscle thickness, pennation angle, or fascicle length.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic injuries are a common complaint in recreational runners. Foot orthoses have been shown to be effective for the treatment of running injuries but their mechanical effects are still not well understood. This study aims to examine the influence of orthotic intervention on multi-segment foot kinematics and plantar fascia strain during running. Fifteen male participants ran at 4.0 m.s-1 with and without orthotics. Multi-segment foot kinematics and plantar fascia strain were obtained during the stance phase and contrasted using paired t-tests. Relative coronal plane range of motion of the midfoot relative to the rearfoot was significantly reduced with orthotics (1.0°) compared to without (2.2°). Similarly relative transverse plane range of motion was significantly lower with orthotics (1.1°) compared to without (1.8°). Plantar fascia strain did not differ significantly between orthotic (7.1) and no-orthotic (7.1) conditions. This study shows that although orthotics did not serve to reduce plantar fascia strain, they are able to mediate reductions in coronal and transverse plane rotations of the midfoot..
    Journal of applied biomechanics 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A rigid ventral shelf ankle foot orthosis (AFO) may improve gait in children with spastic cerebral palsy (SCP) whose gait is characterized by excessive knee flexion in stance. However, these AFOs can also impede ankle range of motion (ROM) and thereby inhibit push-off power. A more spring-like AFO can enhance push-off and may potentially reduce walking energy cost. The recent development of an adjustable spring-hinged AFO now allows adjustment of AFO stiffness, enabling tuning towards optimal gait performance. This study aims to quantify the mechanical properties of this spring-hinged AFO for each of its springs and settings. Using an AFO stiffness tester, two AFO hinges and their accompanying springs were measured. The springs showed a stiffness range of 0.01 to 1.82 Nm·deg-1. The moment-threshold increased with increasing stiffness (1.13 to 12.1 Nm), while ROM decreased (4.91 to 16.5 degrees). Energy was returned by all springs (11.5 to 116.3 J). These results suggest that the two stiffest available springs should improve joint kinematics and enhance push-off in children with SCP walking with excessive knee flexion.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 07/2014; 30(6):728-31.
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular phone texting has become increasingly popular, raising the risk of distraction related injuries. The purpose of this study was to compare alterations in gait parameters during normal gait as opposed to walking while texting. Thirty able-bodied young adults (age = 20±2yrs, height = 171±40cm, mass = 61.7±11.2kg) who reported texting on a regular basis were tested using an 11-camera optical motion capture system as they walked across an 8m, obstacle-free floor. A reduction in velocity (p<0.05) was seen along with additional significant changes in spatial and temporal parameters. Specifically, Step width and double stance time increased, while toe clearance, step length, and cadence decreased. Although many of the changes in spatial and temporal parameters generally accompany slowed gait, the complex distraction task used here may have amplified these potentially deleterious effects. The combination of the slower gait velocity and decrease in attention to the surrounding environment suggests that an individual who is texting while walking could be at a greater risk of injury. Tripping injuries while texting could be more likely due to the decreased toe clearance. In addition, increased step width may increase the likelihood of stepping on an unstable surface or colliding with obstacles in close proximity.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to develop a 3D motion analysis based anatomical wrist joint coordinate system for measurement of in-vivo wrist kinematics. The convergent validity and reliability of the 3D motion analysis implementation was quantified and compared to manual and electrogoniometry techniques on ten cadaveric specimens. Fluoroscopic measurements were used as the reference. The 3D motion analysis measurements (Mean Absolute Difference (MAD)= 3.6º) were significantly less different (p<0.005) than manual goniometry (MAD= 5.7º) but not (p=0.066, power=0.45) electrogoniometry (MAD= 5.0º) compared with fluoroscopy. The ICC(2,1) was highest for 3D motion analysis compared to manual and electrogoniometry suggesting better reliability for this technique. To demonstrate the utility of this new wrist joint coordinate system, normative data from ten healthy subjects was obtained while throwing a dart.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to define accelerations measured at the waist and lower extremities over a range of gait velocities to provide reference data for choosing the appropriate accelerometer for field-based human activity monitoring studies. Accelerations were measured with a custom activity monitor (±16g) at the waist, thighs, and ankles in 11 participants over a range of gait velocities from slow walking to running speeds. The cumulative frequencies and peak accelerations were determined. Cumulative acceleration amplitudes for the waist, thighs, and ankles during gait velocities up to 4.8 m/s were within the standard commercial g-range (±6g) in 99.8%, 99.0%, and 96.5% of the data, respectively. Conversely, peak acceleration amplitudes exceeding the limits of many commercially available activity monitors were observed at the waist, thighs, and ankles, with the highest peaks at the ankles as expected. At the thighs, and more so at the ankles, nearly 50% of the peak accelerations would not be detected when the gait velocity exceeds a walking velocity. Activity monitor choice is application specific, and investigators should be aware that when measuring high intensity gait velocity activities with commercial units that impose a ceiling at ±6g, peak accelerations may not be measured.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The upstart is a fundamental skill in gymnastics, requiring whole body co-ordination in order to transfer the gymnast from a swing beneath the bar to a support position above the bar. The aim of this study was to determine the solution space within which a gymnast could successfully perform an upstart. A previous study had shown that the underlying control strategy for the upstart could be accounted for by maximising the likelihood of success whilst operating in a noisy environment. In the current study data were collected on a senior gymnast and a computer simulation model of a gymnast and bar was used to determine the solution space for maximising success whilst operating in a noisy environment. The effects of timing important actions, gymnast strength and movement execution noise on the success of the upstart were then systematically determined. The solution space for the senior gymnast was relatively large. Decreasing strength and increasing movement execution noise reduced the size of the solution space. A weaker gymnast would have to use a different technique to that used by the senior gymnast in order to produce an acceptable success rate.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to compare the morphological and mechanical properties of the human patellar tendon among elementary school children (pre-pubertal), junior high school students (pubertal), and adults. Twenty-one elementary school children, 18 junior high school students, and 22 adults participated in this study. The maximal strain, stiffness, Young's modulus, hysteresis, and cross-sectional area of the patellar tendon were measured using ultrasonography. No significant difference was observed in the relative length (to thigh length) or cross-sectional area (to body mass) of the patellar tendon among the three groups. Stiffness and Young's modulus were significantly lower in elementary school children than in the other groups, while no significant differences were observed between junior high school students and adults. No significant differences were observed in maximal strain or hysteresis among the three groups. These results suggest that the material property (Young's modulus) of the patellar tendons of elementary school children was lower than that of the other groups, while that of junior high school students was already similar to that of adults. In addition, no significant differences were observed in the extensibility (maximal strain) or viscosity (hysteresis) of the patellar tendon among the three groups.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In sprinters with different levels of block acceleration, we investigated differences in their three-dimensional force application in terms of the magnitude, direction, and impulse of the ground reaction force (GRF) during the starting block phase and subsequent two steps. Twenty-nine participants were divided into three groups (well-trained, trained, and non-trained sprinters)based on their mean anteroposterior block acceleration and experience with a block start. The participants sprinted 10 m from a block start with maximum effort. Although the mean net resultant GRF magnitude did not differ between the well-trained and trained sprinters, the net sagittal GRF vector of the well-trained sprinters was leaned significantly further forward than that of the trained and non-trained sprinters during the starting block phase. In contrast, during the starting block phase and the subsequent steps, the transverse GRF vectors which cause the anteroposterior and mediolateral acceleration of the whole-body was directed toward the anterior direction more in the well-trained sprinters as compared with the other sprinters. Therefore, rather than a difference in the magnitude of GRF, the two-dimensional force application technique of a more forward-leaning GRF vector may particularly allow well-trained sprinters to generate a greater mean anteroposterior block acceleration than trained and non-trained sprinters.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: No comprehensive biomechanical study has documented upper extremity (U/E) kinematics and kinetics during the performance of wheelchair wheelies among MWUs. The aim of this study was to describe movement strategies (kinematics), mechanical loads (kinetics) and power at the non-dominant U/E joints during a wheelie among MWUs with SCI. During a laboratory assessment, sixteen MWUs with SCI completed four wheelie trials on a rigid surface. Each participant's wheelchair was equipped with instrumented wheels to record handrim kinetics, while U/E and wheelchair kinematics were recorded with a 3D motion analysis system. The greatest mean and peak total net joint moments were generated by the shoulder flexors (mean=7.2±3.5Nm; peak=20.7±12.9Nm) and internal rotators (mean=3.8± 2.2Nm; peak=11.4± 10.9Nm) as well as by the elbow flexors (mean=5.5± 2.5Nm; peak=14.1± 7.6Nm) during the performance of wheelies. Shoulder flexor and internal rotator efforts predominantly generate the effort needed to lift the front wheels of the wheelchair, whereas the elbow flexor muscles control these shoulder efforts to reach a state of balance. In combination with task-specific training program that remains essential to properly learn how to control wheelies among MWUs with SCI, rehabilitation professionals should also propose a shoulder flexor, internal rotator and elbow flexor strengthening program.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was: 1) to investigate how kinematic patterns are adjusted while running in footwear with THIN, MEDIUM, and THICK midsole thicknesses; and 2) to determine if these patterns are adjusted over time during a sustained run in footwear of different thicknesses. Ten male heel-toe runners performed treadmill runs in specially constructed footwear (THIN, MEDIUM, and THICK midsoles) on separate days. Standard lower extremity kinematics and acceleration at the tibia and head were captured. Time epochs were created using data from each five minutes of the run. Repeated measures ANOVA was used (p < 0.05) to determine differences across footwear and time. At touchdown, kinematics were similar for the THIN and MEDIUM conditions distal to the knee whereas only the THIN condition was isolated above the knee. No runners displayed midfoot or forefoot strike patterns in any condition. Peak accelerations were slightly increased with THIN and MEDIUM footwear as was eversion as well as tibial and thigh internal rotation. It appears that participants may have been anticipating, very early in their run, a suitable kinematic pattern based on both the length of the run and the footwear condition.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Previous authors have reported power-pedaling rate relationships for maximal cycling. However, the joint-specific power-pedaling rate relationships that contribute to pedal power have not been reported. We determined absolute and relative contributions of joint-specific powers to pedal power across a range of pedaling rates during maximal cycling. Ten cyclists performed maximal 3s cycling trials at 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 rpm. Joint-specific powers were averaged over complete pedal cycles, and extension and flexion actions. Effects of pedaling rate on relative joint-specific power, velocity and excursion were assessed with regression analyses and repeated measures ANOVA. Relative ankle plantar flexion power (25 to 8%; p=0.01; R2=0.90) decreased with increasing pedaling rate whereas relative hip extension power (41 to 59%; p<0.01; R2=0.92) and knee flexion power (34 to 49%; p < 0.01; R2=0.94) increased with increasing pedaling rate. Knee extension powers did not differ across pedaling rates. Ankle joint angular excursion decreased with increasing pedaling rate (48 to 20º) whereas hip joint excursion increased (42 to 48º). These results demonstrate that the often reported quadratic power-pedaling rate relationship arise from combined effects of dissimilar joint-specific power-pedaling rate relationships. These dissimilar relationships are likely influenced by musculoskeletal constraints (i.e., muscle architecture, morphology) and/or motor control strategies.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare biomechanical and perceptual-cognitive variables between genders during an offensive and defensive agility protocol. Twelve male and female (n=24) recreational team sport athletes participated in this study, each performing 12 offensive and defensive agility trials (six left, six right) changing direction in response to movements of a human stimulus. Three-dimensional motion, ground reaction force (GRF) and impulse data was recorded across plant phase for dominant leg change of direction (COD) movements, while timing gates and high-speed video captured decision time, total running time and post COD stride velocity. Subjects also performed a unilateral isometric squat to determine lower-body strength, and limb dominance. Group (gender) by condition (2x2) MANOVA's with follow up ANOVA's were conducted to examine differences between groups (p ≤ 0.05). Male athletes demonstrated significantly greater lower body strength, vertical braking force and impulse application, knee and spine flexion, hip abduction, a faster decision time and post COD stride velocity during both agility conditions compared to females. Differences between offensive and defensive movements appear to be attributed to differences in decision time between genders. This study demonstrates that biomechanical and perceptual-cognitive differences exist between genders and within offensive and defensive agility movements.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The recent popularity of unstable shoes has sparked much interest in the efficacy of the shoe design. Anecdotal evidence suggests that earlier designs appear bulky and less aesthetically appealing for everyday use. The purpose of this study was to examine effects of a 2nd generation unstable shoe on center of pressure (COP), ground reaction force (GRF), kinematics, and kinetics of the ankle joint during level walking at normal and fast speeds. Additionally, findings were compared with results from the 1st generation shoe. Fourteen healthy males performed five successful level walking trials in four testing conditions: walking in unstable and control shoes at normal (1.3 m/s) and fast (1.8 m/s) speeds. The unstable shoe resulted in an increased mediolateral COP displacement, 1st peak vertical GRF loading rate, braking GRF, ankle eversion ROM, and inversion moment, and a decrease in anteroposterior COP displacement, 2nd peak vertical GRF, ankle plantarflexion ROM, and dorsiflexion moment. Only minor differences were found between the shoe generations. Results of the generational comparisons suggest that the lower profile 2nd generation shoe may be as effective at achieving the desired unstable effects while promoting a smoother transition from heel contact through toe-off compared with the 1st generation shoe.
    Journal of applied biomechanics 03/2014;