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The take-off is often considered the most significant and difficult phase of a ski jump. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare three groups of ski jumpers representing different skill levels during the execution of the take-off and start of the early flight phase in ski jumping. A total of 30 athletes, recruited from competitors performing ski jumps on an HS-134 m jumping hill, were categorized into three groups based on jump-length execution. Two-dimensional (2-D) kinematic data were collected from the lower extremities, trunk, and skis of the ski jumpers. Findings indicated that the ski jumpers with shorter jump length demonstrated significantly smaller in-run velocity (p < .05), while the elite and mediocre level ski jumpers exhibited a significantly faster shift of the thigh at the transition from take-off into the early flight of the jump (p < .05) than did the low-level ski jumpers. In addition, the centre of body mass (CoM) of the elite group shifted significantly more forward over the skis (p < .01) than did that of the other two groups. Finally, interindividual differences existed among ski jumpers at similar performance levels. The largest coefficients of variation (CVs) were found for the position changes of the trunk and shank behind the jumping hill edge.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate marked postural asymmetry and gross joint mobility in elite female volleyball athletes.Sixty-two Czech and Slovak elite female volleyball athletes (age 20.7±2.03 years, body mass 71.1±6.18 kg, body height 1.804±.0618 m, BMI 21.8±1.78) were examined by an experienced rehabilitation physician. The set of tests included the frontal posture gross examination, the forward bending test from the standing position and the deep squat test. The spiking hand and the presence of any lower extremity injury were estimated by interview. The proportion test, Mann-Whitney test and t-test were used to evaluate statistical significance (p<0.05).Fifty subjects (80.6%) exhibited "typical" frontal plane posture in which the acromion, scapula and the iliac crest were in a higher position on the left side than on the right, significantly more frequently than all the other patterns (proportion test, p<0.0001). Ninety-eight percent of the subjects with the "LLL pattern" preferred the right arm for spiking (proportion test, p<0.0001). Forty-one subjects (66%) exhibited hypermobility in the forward bending test, significantly more frequently than twenty-one subjects (34%) with normal results (proportion test, p=0.0003). Thirty-four subjects (55%) did not succeed in the deep squat test and hypermobility in the forward bending test paradoxically prevailed in them significantly (proportion test, p=0.004). Restriction in the deep squat test was not linked to obesity, age (t-test, p=0.081) nor knee (proportion test, p=0.85) and ankle injury (Mann-Whitney test, p=0.36) in the past. Significant prevalence of hypermobility in the forward bending test was not surprising because of general body composition and the performance of regular stretching exercises in elite female volleyball athletes. On the other hand, surprisingly, more than half of the subjects did not succeed in the deep squat test. The cause of poor results in the deep squat test could be due to the tightness of the soleus muscle suffering from chronic overloading and/or an inappropriate stretching methods. An inappropriate and/or insufficient compensatory exercise and stretching method or system could be the cause of their marked postural asymmetry as well.A detailed examination of posture and muscle imbalance performed by an experienced physician or physiotherapist as well as individually tailored compensatory exercises and a stretching system can be strongly recommended to all elite athletes, not only to volleyball players.
The strength ratio between hamstrings and quadriceps (H/Q) is associated with knee injuries as well as hip abductor muscle (HAB) weakness. Sixteen resistance trained men (age, 32.5 ± 4.2 years) performed 5 s maximal isometric contractions at 75° of knee flexion/extension and 15° of hip abduction on a dynamometer. After this isometric test they performed a Farmer´s walk exercise to find out if the muscle strength ratio predicted the electromyography amplitude expressed as a percentage of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (%MVIC). The carried load represented a moderate intensity of 75% of the exercise six repetitions maximum (6RM). Electromyography data from the vastus medialis (VM), vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF) and gluteus medius (Gmed) on each leg were collected during the procedure. The groups selected were participants with H/Q ≥ 0.5, HQ < 0.5, HAB/H ≥ 1, HAB/H < 1, HAB/Q ≥ 0.5 and HAB/Q < 0.5. One way ANOVA showed that Gmed activity was significantly greater in the group with HAB/H < 1 (42 ± 14 %MVIC) as compared to HAB/H ≥ 1 (26 ± 10 %MVIC) and HAB/Q < 0.5 (47 ± 19 %MVIC) compared to HAB/Q ≥ 0.5 (26 ± 12 %MVIC). The individuals with HAB/H < 1 were found to have greater activation of their Gmed during the Farmer’s walk exercise. Individuals with HAB/Q < 0.5 had greater activation of the Gmed. Gmed strength ratios predict the muscle involvement when a moderate amount of the external load is used. The Farmer’s walk is recommended as an exercise which can strengthen the gluteus medius, especially for individuals with a HAB/H ratio < 1 and HAB/Q < 0.5.
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