Francisco J Vera-Garcia

Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Elche, Valencia, Spain

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Publications (42)35.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To describe the range of motion (ROM) profile (flexion, extension, abduction, internal and external rotation) of the hip in elite tennis players; and (b) to analyse if there are sex-related differences in the hip ROM.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Physical Therapy in Sport
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    ABSTRACT: El objetivo de este trabajo fue revisar las características de los métodos utilizados para valorar la estabilidad de la zona central del cuerpo (core stability), así como las características más importantes de los programas de ejercicios de estabilización del tronco. Los resultados de la revisión indican que métodos biomecánicos, como la aplicación controlada de cargas o descargas súbitas, el paradigma del asiento inestable y la modelación matemática, han permitido analizar el efecto de numerosos factores sobre la estabilidad del raquis. Por otro lado, los test de campo utilizados habitualmente para valorar la core stability (test de condición muscular, test de equilibrio corporal en apoyo monopodal, test de control postural del raquis lumbar y la pelvis, etc.) presentan limitaciones importantes, principalmente debido a la falta de estudios sobre la validez de estas medidas. Finalmente, existe una gran cantidad de información en relación con la eficacia y la seguridad de los ejercicios de estabilización, pero carecemos de información suficiente sobre otras características de la carga de entrenamiento.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte
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    Javier Alonso-Álvarez · Francisco J. Vera-Garcia
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    DESCRIPTION: Los problemas en el control del equilibrio corporal incrementan de manera importante la probabilidad de caídas en personas mayores. Varios autores sugieren que una adecuada capacidad de estabilización del tronco, así como altos niveles de fuerza de su musculatura podrían incrementar el equilibrio corporal, lo cual podría ser beneficioso para disminuir el riesgo de caídas en el adulto mayor. Sin embargo, existe una carencia de evidencias científicas que permitan establecer una relación clara entre la estabilidad y fuerza de tronco y el equilibrio corporal en personas mayores. El objetivo de nuestro estudio fue describir, por un lado, la posible relación entre la estabilidad de tronco en sedestación y la fuerza muscular del tronco sobre el rendimiento en pruebas de equilibrio corporal general y, por otro lado, analizar el efecto de la edad sobre la estabilidad y fuerza de tronco, así como sobre el equilibrio corporal general y sobre la relación que existe entre estas variables. En el estudio participaron 22 mujeres, 11 de ellas de entre 30 y 40 años y 10 de más de 60 años. Todas ellas realizaban actividad física al menos dos días a la semana. Para valorar la estabilidad del tronco se analizó su control postural mediante el paradigma del asiento inestable. Para valorar el equilibrio corporal se analizó el rendimiento en una prueba realizada sobre una plataforma de fuerzas. Para valorar la fuerza muscular se realizó un test de flexión y extensión isométrica del tronco en un dinamómetro isocinético.
    Full-text · Research · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: In this work we present a scientific literature review on core stability with the aim of clarifying the meaning of this concept and its relation with sport performance and injury. The results of this review show that the use of the term core stability is ambiguous, as there is a great terminological confusion in both scientific literature and professional fields. Several biomechanical and epidemiological studies suggest that the neuromuscular control deficit of core stability is related to low back pain and lower limb injuries. Nevertheless, despite the fact that core stability exercises are key elements in sport training programs, there is not enough evidence to establish a clear relation between the practice of these exercises and the improvement in sport performance.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte
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    David Barbado · Jose Luis L Elvira · Francisco J Moreno · Francisco J Vera-Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: Trunk exercise speed has significant effects on neuro-mechanical demands; however, the influence of a variety of exercise speeds on motor control of the trunk displacement remains unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of performance speed on trunk motion control during the curl-up exercise by analyzing the kinematic variance about the sagittal trajectory. Seventeen subjects volunteered to perform curl-ups at different cadences controlled by a metronome. Standard deviation (SD) and range (RG) of shoulder girdle medial-lateral displacement (SGML) and detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) of SGML were calculated to examine linear variability and long range autocorrelation of medial-lateral upper trunk displacements, respectively. In addition, SD, RG and DFA of centre of pressure medial-lateral displacement (COPML) were performed to analyze the behavior of the motor system while controlling trunk displacement. Although SD and RG of COPML increased as speed increased, the curl-up cadence did not have significant effects on SD and RG of SGML. These results suggest that although high speed curl-ups challenged participants' ability to carry out medial-lateral adjustments, an increase of performance speed did not modify the linear variability about the sagittal trajectory. Regarding DFA, the scaling exponent α of SGML and COPML was higher for the fastest movements, mainly in long term fluctuations. Therefore, to maintain the target trajectory, participants used different strategies depending on performance speed. This is to say, there were less trajectory changes when participants performed the fastest exercises.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Human Kinetics
  • C Juan-Recio · A López-Vivancos · M Moya · J M Sarabia · F J Vera-Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: Despite core exercise programs are broadly used to increase muscle function and to promote low back health, there is a lack of scientific evidence on some of the most important characteristics of trunk exercise programs, as for example training frequency. This study aimed to compare the short-term effect of training frequencies of 1, 2 and 3 days per week (d/wk) on abdominal muscle endurance in untrained adolescents. One hundred and eighteen high-school students (59 men and 59 women) with no previous experience in structured abdominal exercise programs were assigned randomly to groups that trained 1 d/wk (G1; N.=21), 2 d/wk (G2; N.=27), 3 d/wk (G3; N.=23), or to a control group (CG; N.=47) that did not train. The training groups performed crunch and cross-crunch exercises 1, 2 or 3 d/wk during six weeks. Before and after the training period, the bench trunk-curl test (BTC test) was carried out to assess abdominal muscle endurance. Men obtained higher BTC test scores than women before and after training. Training frequencies of 1, 2 and 3 d/wk provided a significant increase in BTC test scores; however, no significant differences between the three groups' scores were found after training. Therefore, a small dose of crunch exercise training (1 d/wk) may be sufficient stimulus to increase abdominal endurance in untrained male and female adolescents, at least during the first weeks of an abdominal exercise program, which seems a very relevant finding in terms of time-cost efficiency.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
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    Victor Moreno-Pérez · Janice Moreside · David Barbado · Francisco J. Vera-Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: A glenohumeral internal rotation deficit of the dominant shoulder relative to the non-dominant shoulder (GIRD) is considered a risk factor for shoulder injury in overhead athletes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether professional tennis players with a history of self-reported shoulder pain show differences in rotation range of motion (ROM) of the dominant and non-dominant shoulder compared to asymptomatic controls. Forty-seven professional tennis players belonging to the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour took part in the study: 19 with shoulder pain history and 28 without. Passive shoulder ROM was measured using a process of photography and software calculation of angles. The dominant shoulder had reduced internal rotation (IR) ROM and total rotation ROM, and increased external rotation (ER) ROM compared to the non-dominant side. These differences did not correlate significantly with years of tennis practice, years of professional play, nor the players' age. However, glenohumeral rotation ROMs correlated negatively with the duration of tennis practice and players' age. Although tennis players with shoulder pain history showed less IR ROM in both shoulders compared with the no-pain group, no significant differences between groups were found for ER ROM, side-to-side ROM asymmetries, years of tennis practice or years of professional play. In professional tennis players, limited IR ROM rather than a GIRD, seems to be associated with shoulder pain history, duration of tennis practice and the players' age, when compared to a similar cohort with no history of shoulder pain.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Manual Therapy

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2014

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte
  • F.J. Vera-Garcia · D. Barbado · M. Moya
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to analyze the trunk muscular response during different variations of some of the most popular stabilization exercises: front-bridge, back-bridge, side-bridge, and bird-dog. Surface electromyography was bilaterally recorded from rectus abdominis, external and internal oblique and erector spinae during 25 variations of the aforementioned exercises. Compared to the conventional form of the front- and side-bridge, performing these exercises kneeling on a bench or with elbows extended reduced the muscular challenge. Conversely, performing the back-bridge with elbows extended elicited higher muscular activation than the conventional exercise. While bridge exercises with double leg support produced the highest activation levels in those muscles that counteracted gravity, single leg support while bridging increased the activation of the trunk rotators, especially internal oblique. Te highest activation levels were found in three exercises: sagittal walkout in a front-bridge position, rolling from right side-bridge into front-bridge position, and side-bridge with single leg support on a BOSU™ balance trainer. Although the exercises performed on unstable surfaces usually enhanced the muscle activation, performing the exercises on the BOSU™ balance trainer did not always increase the trunk muscle activity. Overall, this information may be useful to guide fitness instructors and clinicians when establishing stabilization exercise progressions for the trunk musculature.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria e Desempenho Humano
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    ABSTRACT: It is theorized that the development of the ability to stabilize the trunk may improve the performance of a judoka because it improves body balance control and optimizes force transmission from the lower extremities to the upper limbs. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to establish a clear relationship between trunk stability and performance in judo.Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the quantification of trunk stability and muscular strength and endurance allowed differentiation between national level (n = 7) and international level judoka (n = 6). In addition, the relationship between trunk stability and muscular strength and endurance of the muscles involved in trunk stability control was analyzed.Method: To assess trunk stability, trunk responses to sudden loads applied by a pneumatic mechanism were analyzed, as well as trunk postural control through an unstable sitting paradigm. Muscular strength and endurance were assessed via a flexion and extension trunk test using an isokinetic dynamometer.Results/Conclusions: International level judokas showed lower CoP displacement in the most complex task in unstable seat (7.00 ± 1.19 vs 8.93 ± 1.45 mm, T = .025) and higher absolute and relative peak torque in extensor muscles (7.05 ± 0.87 vs 5.74 ± 0.72 Nm, T = .013) than national level judoka. According to these results, core stability and trunk muscular condition are important qualities in the physical training of elite judoka. Correlational analysis found no relation between the analyzed variables, thus muscular strength and endurance appear to have a non-significant effect on performance in the trunk stability tests.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to analyze the trunk muscle coactivation during spine stabilization exercises. The electromyography of rectus abdominis, external and internal oblique and erector spinae was recorded while performing the back bridge, the front bridge and the right and left side bridge exercises. The muscular activation levels needed to stabilize the trunk in the bridge exercises were low or moderate. Abdominal muscles were mainly activated in the frontal and lateral bridge, and erector spinae in the back bridge. All trunk muscles from the side of the arm of support were activated during the lateral bridges. On the contrary, frontal and back bridges isolated the abdominal and lumbar muscle activation, respectively. These results may facilitate the stabilization exercise selection to design trunk muscle conditioning programs.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Fisica y del Deporte
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The influence of speed on trunk exercise technique is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of movement speed on the kinematics and kinetics of curl-up, sit-up and leg raising/lowering exercises. Seventeen healthy, recreationally trained individuals (13 females and 4 males) volunteered to participate in this study. Four different exercise cadences were analysed: 1 repetition/4 s, 1 repetition/2 s, 1 repetition/1.5 s and 1 repetition/1 s. The exercises were executed on a force plate and recorded by three cameras to conduct a 3D photogrammetric analysis. The cephalo-caudal displacement of the centre of pressure and range of motion (ROM) of six joints describing the trunk and hip movements were measured. As sit-up and curl-up speed increased, hip and knee ROM increased. Dorsal-lumbar and upper trunk ROM increased with speed in the curl-up. Faster cadence in the sit-up exercise had minimal effect on trunk ROM: only the upper trunk ROM decreased significantly. In the leg raising/lowering exercise there was a decrease in the pelvic tilt and hip ROM, and increased knee flexion ROM. During higher speed exercises, participants modified their technique to maintain the cadence. Thus, professionals would do well to monitor and control participants' technique during high-speed exercises to maintain performance specificity. Results also suggest division of speed into two cadence categories, to be used as a reference for prescribing exercise speed based on preferred outcome goals.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · European Journal of Sport Science

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · RICYDE. Revista internacional de ciencias del deporte
  • Janice M Moreside · David Barbado · Casto Juan-Recio · Francisco J Vera-Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: Active range of motion trials are frequently used as a baseline for normalizing other data. However, previous research has not focused on methods utilized to achieve maximum active range of motion. Twenty-seven males (age 20-38 years) participated in this study. Active hip extension in upright standing was compared to active lumbar extension with regards to degrees of total hip and spine extension obtained. Similarly, active spine rotation whereby participants attempted to constrain associated pelvis and hip rotation was compared to rotation trials in which the pelvis and hips were free to rotate concurrently. An infra-red motion capture system and associated software were used to capture movement and determine joint angles. Results indicate that average degrees of hip extension did not differ between the two methods (p = 0.138), nor did either method result more frequently in the highest measurement. Spine extension values were significantly greater in the active spine extension manoeuvre compared to the associated back extension that occurred when participants were asked to actively extend their hip (p < 0.001). Average degrees of spine rotation were greater in the unconstrained trials: when concurrent hip and pelvis rotation were allowed to take place (p < 0.001). Of the 27 participants, 23 obtained maximum rotation during the unconstrained trials. To obtain maximum active hip joint extension, both hip and back extension trials should be collected. Maximum spine rotation is more likely to occur when the pelvis and hips are unconstrained.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Manual therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Brotons-Gil, E, García-Vaquero, MP, Peco-González, N, and Vera-Garcia, FJ. Flexion-rotation trunk test to assess abdominal muscle endurance: Reliability, learning effect, and sex differences. J Strength Cond Res 27(6): 1602–1608, 2013—Trunk endurance tests are generally performed in sagittal or frontal plane. However, trunk field tests that measure the endurance of the rotator muscles are lacking. In view of this situation, we developed a flexion-rotation trunk test (FRT test) to assess the oblique abdominal muscle endurance. This new field test consists mainly in performing the maximum number of upper trunk flexion and rotation movements (reps) possible in 90 seconds. The objectives of this study were to analyze the FRT test reliability and to examine the effect of both the repetition and sex on test results. Fifty-one recreationally trained men (n = 35) and women (n = 16) completed 4 trials of the FRT test (T1, T2, T3, and T4), separated by 7 days each. The scores increased significantly between T1 and T3 (p < 0.001), showing a clear learning effect, but the increase between T3 and T4 was only 4.25% (p = 0.108). The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between trials were ≥0.83 and the standard errors of measurement (SEMs) ≤7.54 reps. The ICCs between trials increased, and SEMs decreased with test repetition, reaching an ICC of 0.94 and an SEM of 6.46 reps between T3 and T4. The comparison between sexes showed a higher abdominal endurance in men when compared with that in women (p = 0.003), and also a higher learning effect in men, especially at the beginning of the study. These findings suggest that, the FRT test is a reliable field protocol that differentiates between the abdominal endurance of men and women. However, it is necessary to perform an extensive familiarization period before testing (at least 3 trials of practice) to make learning effect negligible.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
  • López-Valenciano A · Bosch-Bivia G · Lisón JF · F. J. Vera-Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to analyze the electromyography of rectus, external and internal oblique, erector spinae and biceps femoris of 10 men and 10 women while performing isometric crunches on a board in different positions: horizontal (0 degrees), inclined 10 degrees with the head at the bottom (-10 degrees) and at the top of the bench (+10 degrees), and inclined 20 degrees with the head at the bottom (-20 degrees) and at the top of the bench (+20 degrees). The results showed a muscular activation increase when the slope increased in the negative tilts (upside down). In the positive tilts, increasing the slope from +10 degrees to +20 degrees reduced the rectus abdominis activation, but increased the activation of the oblique muscles, especially of the internal oblique. Although men and women responded similarly to changes in the board tilt, women showed higher levels of internal oblique activation.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Fisica y del Deporte
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    ABSTRACT: Studies about the relationship between complexity and performance in upright standing balance have yielded mixed results and interpretations. The aim of the present study was to assess how the increasing difficulty in standing balance task affects performance and the complexity of postural sway and neuromuscular activation. Thirty-two young healthy participants were asked to stand still on a stability platform with visual feedback in three levels of difficulty. EMG signals from gastrocnemius medialis, tibialis anterior, rectus femoris and biceps femoris were measured with surface electromyography. As task difficulty increased, the amplitude of postural sway also increased. In the antero-posterior axis, Fuzzy Entropy (complexity) of postural sway decreased from the stable condition to the medium instability condition, and increased again at the highest instability condition. Fuzzy Entropy in the medio-lateral axis was higher in the stable condition; however, no differences were observed between the two instability conditions. Lower values of Fuzzy Entropy in postural sway during stable condition correlated with greater percent increases in postural sway in medio-lateral and antero-posterior axis from the standing still condition to the highest instability condition. In addition, mean and coefficient of variation of EMG increased and Fuzzy Entropy of EMG decreased when the difficulty in standing balance tasks increased. These results suggest that the higher postural sway complexity in stable condition, the greater capacity of the postural control system to adapt to the platform instability increases. In addition, changes in the complexity of EMG modulated by task difficulty do not necessarily reflect similar changes on postural sway.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Human movement science
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    ABSTRACT: Whole-body vibration exercise have been widely used during the last two decades, with most scientific publications reporting various positive effects. Most commonly, squat exercises have been studied. Instead, this study explored the rectus abdominis activity and the transmission of sinusoidal vibration to the human body during the performance of front bridges on a oscillating vibration platform at different frequencies (5, 16, 20 Hz) with constant amplitude (3 mm). Maximal vibration-induced accelerations at the head (axis X, Y, Z) and mean electromyographic activity were assessed in thirty-one healthy subjects using a skin-mounted triaxial accelerometer and surface electromyography. A damping coefficient was calculated for each axis as the difference between platform and head maximal accelerations. Rectus abdominis activity and the damping coefficients in the axis X and Z significantly increased with each increment in the platform vibration frequency (p < 0.001). It is concluded that a front bridge on an oscillating vibration platform vibrating at 16-20 Hz is effective to activate significantly the rectus abdominis muscles in the studied population.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · RICYDE. Revista internacional de ciencias del deporte