Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 6588

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
CEMMPRE-UC & School of Health Sciences, Polytechnic of Leiria, Morro do Lena – Alto do Vieiro, Apartado 4137, 2411-901 Leiria, Portugal
Interests: movement analysis; sports injuries and injury prevention; EEG; electroencephalography; biofeedback; analysis; neuroscience
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Guest Editor
Department of Sport Science, University of Évora, Evora, Portugal
Interests: biomechanics and nonlinear analysis of human movements

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Guest Editor
Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra, 3030-329 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: physical activity promotion; sport education; play and early motor development; health education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The human movement system relies heavily on motor control, which is essential for motor performance. Motor control is based on continuous interactions between the individual, the task, and the environment. The study of human movement from a biomechanical perspective is inseparable from the processes involved in controlling movement.

This Special Issue is dedicated to highlighting current research that enhances our comprehension of biomechanics and motor control in human movements. We welcome all forms of studies, including both traditional and innovative analyses, encompassing linear and non-linear measures, and embracing all perspectives that contribute to elucidating various aspects of human movement.

This Special Issue will primarily focus on high-quality, original research papers in the fields of biomechanics and motor control related to the analysis of healthy and impaired movements, sports, and occupational activities. We invite researchers and experts to contribute their methods and findings to deepen our understanding of human movement and to introduce innovative approaches in this field.

Prof. Dr. Maria António Castro
Dr. Orlando Fernandes
Prof. Dr. Rui Mendes
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • human movement
  • biomechanics
  • motor control
  • health
  • disease
  • impairment
  • sports
  • occupational movement

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 5487 KiB  
Article
Cardiorespiratory Response to Workload Volume and Ergonomic Risk: Automotive Assembly Line Operators’ Adaptations
by Dania Furk, Luís Silva, Mariana Dias, Carlos Fujão, Phillip Probst, Hui Liu and Hugo Gamboa
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(9), 3921; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14093921 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Repetitive tasks can lead to long-term cardiovascular problems due to continuous strain and inadequate recovery. The automobile operators on the assembly line are exposed to these risks when workload volume changes according to the workstation type. However, the current ergonomic assessments focus primarily [...] Read more.
Repetitive tasks can lead to long-term cardiovascular problems due to continuous strain and inadequate recovery. The automobile operators on the assembly line are exposed to these risks when workload volume changes according to the workstation type. However, the current ergonomic assessments focus primarily on observational and, in some cases, biomechanical methods that are subjective and time-consuming, overlooking cardiorespiratory adaptations. This study aimed to analyze the cardiorespiratory response to distinct workload volumes and ergonomic risk (ER) scores for an automotive assembly line. Sixteen male operators (age = 38 ± 8 years; BMI = 25 ± 3 kg·m2) volunteered from three workstations (H1, H2, and H3) with specific work cycle duration (1, 3, and 5 min respectively). Electrocardiogram (ECG), respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP), and accelerometer (ACC) data were collected during their shift. The results showed significant differences from the first to the last 10 min, where H3 had its SDRRi reduced (p = 0.014), H1’s phase synchrony and H2’s coordination between thoracic and abdominal movements decreased (p < 0.001, p = 0.039). In terms of ergonomic risk, the moderate-high rank showed a reduction in SDRRi (p = 0.037) and moderate-risk activities had diminished phase synchrony (p = 0.018) and correlation (p = 0.004). Thus, the explored parameters could have the potential to develop personalized workplace adaptation and risk assessment systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
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11 pages, 797 KiB  
Article
Kinetic Comparison between Drop Jumps and Horizontal Drop Jumps in Elite Jumpers and Sprinters
by Raynier Montoro-Bombú, Paulo Miranda-Oliveira, Maria João Valamatos, Filipa João, Tom J. W. Buurke, Amândio Cupido Santos and Luís Rama
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(9), 3833; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14093833 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Previous research addressed the spatiotemporal variables of the drop jump (DJ) versus the horizontal drop jump (HDJ). This study compared the kinetic variables of the DJ versus the HDJ in elite jumpers and sprinters. In a single session, sixteen elite jumpers and sprinters [...] Read more.
Previous research addressed the spatiotemporal variables of the drop jump (DJ) versus the horizontal drop jump (HDJ). This study compared the kinetic variables of the DJ versus the HDJ in elite jumpers and sprinters. In a single session, sixteen elite jumpers and sprinters performed two DJ attempts with three different fall heights (0.30 m, 0.40 m, and 0.50 m), and after 2 h, performed two HDJ attempts from the same fall heights (0.30 m, 0.40 m, and 0.50 m). Kinetic variables: eccentric ground reaction forces (GRFE) and concentric ground reaction forces; eccentric impulse (PE) and concentric impulse (PC); peak power in the concentric phase; and rate of force decrease (RFDe) were measured using a research-grade force plate. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the vertical and anteroposterior axes. GRFE was significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) in the DJ vs the HDJ with large effect sizes. The PE (p ≤ 0.006) and PC (p = 0.002) were significantly lower in the DJ than in the HDJ. The RFDe was also significantly lower in the DJ at 0.30 m vs. the HDJ at 0.30 m (p = 0.002). In summary, elite jumpers and sprinters may benefit from incorporating both the DJ and the HDJ into their training regimens, with the DJ being particularly advantageous for enhancing power metrics and RFDe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
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23 pages, 8746 KiB  
Article
Scapular Motor Control and Upper Limb Movement Quality in Subjects with and without Chronic Shoulder Pain: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Ana S. C. Melo, Diana C. Guedes, Ricardo Matias, Eduardo B. Cruz, J. Paulo Vilas-Boas and Andreia S. P. Sousa
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(8), 3291; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14083291 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Despite the existence of several studies about the scapula’s position and motion, in shoulder pain conditions, there are still conflicting findings regarding scapular adaptations and reduced research about the scapula’s role during functional tasks. The present study aimed to compare scapular-related kinematic and [...] Read more.
Despite the existence of several studies about the scapula’s position and motion, in shoulder pain conditions, there are still conflicting findings regarding scapular adaptations and reduced research about the scapula’s role during functional tasks. The present study aimed to compare scapular-related kinematic and electromyographic outcomes during different shoulder movements (with and without load) and the drinking task, between symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. Forty subjects (divided into two groups) participated in this cross-sectional observational study. Scapulothoracic motion, scapulohumeral rhythm, and movement quality (considering trunk compensation, time-to-peak acceleration, and smoothness), as well as the relative surface electromyographic activity and muscle ratio considering the trapezius, serratus anterior, and levator scapulae (LS), were assessed. The symptomatic group presented the following: (1) changes in scapular upward rotation (p = 0.008) and winging (p = 0.026 and p = 0.005) during backward transport and drink phases; (2) increased muscle activity level of the middle trapezius (MT) in all tasks (p < 0.0001 to p = 0.039), of LS during shoulder elevation with load (p = 0.007), and of LS and LT during most of the drinking task phases (p = 0.007 to p = 0.043 and p < 0.0001 to p = 0.014, respectively); (3) a decreased serratus anterior lower portion activity level (SAlow) during shoulder lowering with load (p = 0.030) and drink phase (p = 0.047); and (4) an increased muscular ratio between scapular abductors/adductors (p = 0.005 to p = 0.036) and elevators/depressors (p = 0.008 to p = 0.028). Compared to asymptomatic subjects, subjects with chronic shoulder pain presented scapular upward rotation and winging adaptations; increased activity levels of MT, LT, and LS; decreased activity levels of SAlow; and increased scapular muscle ratios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
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11 pages, 989 KiB  
Article
Training Tennis through Induced Variability and Specific Practice: Effects on Performance in the Forehand Approach Shot
by Vinicius Oliveira, Ruperto Menayo and Juan Pedro Fuentes-García
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(8), 3287; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14083287 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 867
Abstract
(1) Background: Learning and training in variable conditions favors adapting to unstable or changing environments. The aim of this study was to test the effect of variable practice on the accuracy of the forehand net approach shot in tennis. (2) Methods: Thirty (N [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Learning and training in variable conditions favors adapting to unstable or changing environments. The aim of this study was to test the effect of variable practice on the accuracy of the forehand net approach shot in tennis. (2) Methods: Thirty (N = 30) first-class national players (12.9 ± 1.1 years old) participated, divided into three groups: (i) induced variability training (n = 10) (varying court surfaces and balls), (ii) specific training (n = 10), and (iii) usual training (control group) (n = 10). All groups trained for a month: 12 sessions of 20 min (3 per week). The accuracy of the shots was analyzed through a 2D capture and digitization process of the ball bounce on the court. (3) Results: The variability group presented better accuracy values after the period without practice than the stable training group (p = 0.041; ES = 0.51). (4) Conclusions: The application of variability in the game conditions during tennis training seems to have a favorable effect on the retention of accuracy in the forehand down-the-line approach to the net. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
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9 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Neuromuscular Response Disparities in Non-Professional Athletes during Side-Cutting: Exploring Sex Differences through Electromyographic Analysis
by Adrián Feria-Madueño, Jose A. Parraca, Nuno Batalha and Borja Sañudo
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 2954; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14072954 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
This study aims to fill a knowledge gap by investigating electromyographic disparities in anterior and posterior muscle activation and coactivation ratios among non-professional men and women during side-cuttings. A cohort of 162 non-professional athletes participated in directional change maneuvers. Electromyographic assessments focused on [...] Read more.
This study aims to fill a knowledge gap by investigating electromyographic disparities in anterior and posterior muscle activation and coactivation ratios among non-professional men and women during side-cuttings. A cohort of 162 non-professional athletes participated in directional change maneuvers. Electromyographic assessments focused on coactivation ratios during the initial 50, 100, 150, and 200 ms of contraction, analyzing thigh muscle activations and exploring sex-based differences. Findings revealed higher quadriceps than hamstring muscle activation during directional changes, emphasizing the pivotal role of timing and coactivation ratios. Although the coactivation ratio, indicative of protective muscle control, approached 1 in all directional changes, 40% of subjects exhibited ratios below 0.8, suggesting an elevated injury risk. During open side-cutting at 30°, no significant sex differences were observed in anterior and posterior thigh muscle activation. However, in explosive ratios, women outperformed men, potentially attributable to uncontrolled motor unit recruitment. In open side-cutting at 45° and closed side-cutting at 45°, women displayed significantly higher H/Q ratios, indicating a nuanced sex-specific response. The study underscores the importance of an innovative coactivation ratio approach, revealing its early association with injury risk. Although anterior thigh muscle activation generally exceeded posterior, women exhibited poorer coactivation, potentially heightening knee injury risks during directional changes. This research contributes valuable insights into neuromuscular responses among non-professional athletes, particularly within the context of sex-specific differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
14 pages, 2285 KiB  
Article
Higher Values of Force and Acceleration in Rear Cross Than Lead Jab: Differences in Technique Execution by Boxers
by Dariusz Mosler, Jakub Kacprzak and Jacek Wąsik
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 2830; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14072830 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Background: Boxing, a globally popular combat sport, demands technical precision and powerful strikes at the same time. The kinetic assessment of straight punches, specifically the rear cross and lead jab, is crucial for understanding the biomechanical factors influencing punch effectiveness. This study aims [...] Read more.
Background: Boxing, a globally popular combat sport, demands technical precision and powerful strikes at the same time. The kinetic assessment of straight punches, specifically the rear cross and lead jab, is crucial for understanding the biomechanical factors influencing punch effectiveness. This study aims to explore the kinetic properties of these punches in trained boxers, focusing on punch force, acceleration, and the concept of a proximal-to-distal pattern. Methods: Thirteen advanced-level male boxers (body weight 90.6 ± 19.2 kg, height 184.0 ± 7.4 cm, experience 9.5 ± 6.5 y) from local clubs participated in this study. Using a force plate and wireless IMU sensors, we recorded punch force and limb acceleration during the execution of rear-cross and lead-jab punches. Data analysis involved statistical tests to compare the kinetic differences (Mann–Whitney U-test) between the two punch types and assessment of the influence of body mass and training tenure on punch effectiveness (multiple regression analysis). Significant differences were observed between the rear cross and lead jab in terms of total ground reaction force (x¯ = 1709.28 N vs. x¯ = 1176.55 N), acceleration of the fist (x¯ = 94.33 m/s2 vs. x¯ = 66.07 m/s2), forearm (x¯ = 67.11 m/s2 vs. x¯ = 41.62 m/s2) and arm (x¯ = 88.40 m/s2 vs. x¯ = 81.36 m/s2), and target contact time (x¯ = 0.03 s vs. 0.02 s). The rear-cross punch exhibited higher kinetic values, indicating greater effectiveness. Additionally, body mass and training tenure were identified as significant factors influencing punch force (R2 score = 0.640). Conclusions: This study confirmed the biomechanical superiority of the rear cross over the lead jab in terms of generated force among trained boxers. The findings highlight the importance of coordination between each segment’s acceleration to generate a powerful strike. These insights are valuable for coaches and athletes in optimizing training strategies for boxing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
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9 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Influence of Isometric and Dynamic Fatiguing Protocols on Dynamic Strength Index
by Darjan Smajla, Nejc Šarabon, Amador García Ramos, Danica Janicijevic and Žiga Kozinc
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 2722; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14072722 - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Background: Strength and conditioning experts widely recognize the dynamic strength index (DSI) as a tool for assessing an athlete’s ability to utilize strength in dynamic actions. The DSI is calculated as the ratio of peak force in dynamic actions versus isometric ones. To [...] Read more.
Background: Strength and conditioning experts widely recognize the dynamic strength index (DSI) as a tool for assessing an athlete’s ability to utilize strength in dynamic actions. The DSI is calculated as the ratio of peak force in dynamic actions versus isometric ones. To date, the influence of fatigue on the DSI is still not fully understood. This study aimed to explore the effects of both dynamic and isometric fatigue tasks on the DSI. Methods: A total of 24 physically active participants underwent fatigue tests involving repeated countermovement jumps (dynamic) and repeated isometric mid-thigh pulls (isometric) in separate visits. Results: The results revealed a marked drop in performance, with dynamic force showing a more significant reduction (p < 0.001; d = 1.57) than isometric force (p = 0.015; d = 0.30). After the isometric fatigue task, the DSI increased, indicating a more substantial decline in isometric force (p < 0.001; d = 1.75) compared to dynamic force (p = 0.313; d = 0.08). Following this trend, the DSI decreased post-dynamic fatigue (p < 0.001; d = 0.99) and increased post-isometric fatigue (p < 0.001; d = 3.11). Conclusion: This research underscores the need to consider fatigue’s task-specific effects on the DSI, enabling more tailored training methodologies for athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
11 pages, 266 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Acute Physical Fatigue on Information Processing, Pain Threshold and Muscular Performance
by Vicente Javier Clemente-Suárez, Juan Pedro Fuentes-García, Maria Antonio Castro, Jose Francisco Tornero-Aguilera and Ismael Martínez-Guardado
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 2036; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14052036 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 667
Abstract
This study explores the multifaceted effects of acute physical fatigue on information processing, pain threshold, and muscular performance. Enrolling 28 recreational athletes, we used a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocol to induce fatigue and conducted pre- and post-intervention assessments. Our findings revealed significant [...] Read more.
This study explores the multifaceted effects of acute physical fatigue on information processing, pain threshold, and muscular performance. Enrolling 28 recreational athletes, we used a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocol to induce fatigue and conducted pre- and post-intervention assessments. Our findings revealed significant physiological and performance adaptations following the HIIT sessions. Key observations included increased heart rate and rate of perceived exertion and an enhancement in horizontal jump performance and isometric hand strength but no significant change in cognitive processing speed. Remarkably, participants demonstrated a notable increase in pain threshold and blood lactate levels post-exercise. These results challenge traditional views of fatigue, indicating not only a physiological but also a psychological resilience to high-intensity stress. This study provides new insights into the complex interplay between physical fatigue, cognitive function, and pain perception, highlighting the comprehensive effects of HIIT on both physiological and psychological dimensions of human performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Motor Control on Human Movement Analysis)
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