• An analysis of the three-dimensional kinetics and kinematics of maximal effort punches among amateur boxers.

      Stanley, Edward, R; Thomson, Edward; Smith, Grace; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2018-09-27)
      The purpose of this study was to quantify the 3D kinetics and kinematics of six punch types among amateur boxers. Fifteen males (age: 24.9 ± 4.2 years; stature: 1.78 ± 0.1 m; body mass: 75.3 ± 13.4 kg; boxing experience: 6.3 ± 2.8 years) performed maximal effort punches against a suspended punch bag during which upper body kinematics were assessed via a 3D motion capture system, and ground reaction forces (GRF) of the lead and rear legs via two force plates. For all variables except elbowjoint angular velocity, analysis revealed significant (P < 0.05) differences between straight, hook and uppercut punches. The lead hook exhibited the greatest peak fist velocity (11.95 ± 1.84 m/s), the jab the shortest delivery time (405 ± 0.15 ms), the rear uppercut the greatest shoulder-joint angular velocity (1069.8 ± 104.5°/s), and the lead uppercut the greatest elbow angular velocity (651.0 ± 357.5°/s). Peak resultant GRF differed significantly (P < 0.05) between rear and lead legs for the jab punch only. Whilst these findings provide novel descriptive data for coaches and boxers, future research should examine if physical and physiological capabilities relate to the key biomechanical qualities associated with maximal punching performance.
    • A community-based, bionic leg rehabilitation program for patients with chronic stroke: clinical trial protocol

      Wright, Amy; Stone, Keeron; Lambrick, Danielle; Fryer, Simon; Stoner, Lee; Tasker, Edward; Jobson, Simon; Smith, Grace; Batten, John; Batey, Jo; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-10-30)
      Stroke is a major global health problem whereby many survivors have unmet needs concerning mobility during recovery. As such, the use of robotic assisted devices (i.e., a bionic leg) within a community-setting may be an important adjunct to normal physiotherapy in chronic stroke survivors. This study will be a dual-centre, randomized, parallel group clinical trial to investigate the impact of a community based, training program using a bionic leg on biomechanical, cardiovascular and functional outcomes in stroke survivors. Following a baseline assessment which will assess gait, postural sway, vascular health (blood pressure, arterial stiffness) and functional outcomes (6-minute walk), participants will be randomized to a 10-week program group, incorporating either: i) physiotherapy plus community-based bionic leg training program, ii) physiotherapy only, or iii) usual care control. The training program will involve participants engaging in a minimum of 1 hour per day of bionic leg activities at home. Follow up assessment, identical to baseline, will occur after 10-weeks, 3 and 12 months post intervention. Given the practical implications of the study, the clinical significance of using the bionic leg will be assessed for each outcome variable. The potential improvements in gait, balance, vascular health and functional status may have a meaningful impact on patients’ quality of life. The integration of robotic devices within home-based rehabilitation programs may prove to be a cost effective, practical and beneficial resource for stroke survivors.
    • The influence of sprint spike bending stiffness on sprinting performance and metatarsophalangeal joint function

      Smith, Grace; Lake, Mark; Sterzing, Thorsten; Milani, Thomas; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University; Chemnitz University of Technology. (Taylor and Francis, 2016-06-07)
      There is evidence that increasing the longitudinal bending stiffness of sprinting footwear can lead to improved sprinting performance although this has not yet been established. This study examined the effect of four known shoe stiffness conditions on both sprinting performance and metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) motion. Twelve trained sprinters performed 40 m maximal sprints along an indoor running track, two sprints in each stiffness condition, and high speed video (600 Hz) recorded two dimensional MTPJ motion during ground contact. To explore individual responses to the footwear manipulations, three dimensional (1000 Hz) kinematic and kinetic data was collected during maximal sprinting for two sprinters. At the group-level, increasing shoe bending stiffness elicited no significant differences in sprinting performance or MTPJ motion, with any changes between conditions being subject-specific. In-depth individual analyses revealed that increased shoe stiffness could restrict motion about the MTPJ and there appeared to be a preferred stiffness for best performance. This notion of individual optimal sprint shoe stiffness and what factors might contribute to the optimum requires further investigation.
    • Measurement procedures affect the interpretation of metatarsophalangeal joint function during accelerated sprinting

      Smith, Grace; Lake, Mark; Lees, Adrian; Worsfold, Paul R.; University of Chester ; Liverpool John Moores University ; Liverpool John Moores University ; University of Chester (Routledge, 2012-08-07)
      The metatarsophalangeal joint (MPJ) is a significant absorber of energy in sprinting. This study examined the influence of MPJ axis choice and filter cut-off frequency on kinetic variables describing MPJ function during accelerated sprinting. Eight trained sprinters performed maximal sprints along a runway. Three dimensional high-speed (1000 Hz) kinematic and kinetic data were collected at the 20 m point. Three axis definitions for the five MPJs were compared. MPJ moments, powers and energies were calculated using different filter cut-off frequencies. The more anatomically appropriate dual axis resulted in less energy absorbed at the MPJ compared to the oblique axis which also absorbed less energy compared to the perpendicular axis. Furthermore, a low cut-off frequency (8 Hz) substantially underestimated MPJ kinematics, kinetics and the energy absorbed at the joint and lowered the estimate of energy production during push-off. It is concluded that a better understanding of MPJ function during sprinting would be obtained by using an oblique or anatomically appropriate representation of the joint together with appropriate kinematic data sampling and filtering so that high frequency movement characteristics are retained.
    • Metatarsophalangeal joint function during sprinting: A comparison of barefoot and sprint spike shod foot conditions

      Smith, Grace; Lake, Mark; Lees, Adrian; University of Chester ; Liverpool John Moores University ; Liverpool John Moores University (2013-09-13)
      The metatarsophalangeal joint is an important contributor to lower limb energetics during sprint running. This study compared the kinematics, kinetics and energetics of the metatarsophalangeal joint during sprinting barefoot and wearing standardised sprint spikes. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether standard sprinting footwear alters the natural motion and function of the metatatarsophalangeal joint exhibited during barefoot sprint running. Eight trained sprinters performed maximal sprints along a runway, four sprints in each condition. Three dimensional high speed (1000 Hz) kinematic and kinetic data were collected at the 20 m point. Joint angle, angular velocity, moment, power and energy were calculated for the metatarsophalangeal joint. Sprint spikes significantly increase sprinting velocity (0.3 m/s average increase), yet limit the range of motion about the metatarsophalangeal joint (17.9 % average reduction) and reduce peak dorsiflexion velocity (25.5 % average reduction), thus exhibiting a controlling affect over the natural behaviour of the foot. However, sprint spikes improve metatarsophalangeal joint kinetics by significantly increasing the peak metatarsophalangeal joint moment (15 % average increase) and total energy generated during the important push-off phase (0.5 J to 1.4 J). The results demonstrate substantial changes in metatarsophalangeal function and potential improvements in performance-related parameters due to footwear.