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      Monitoring Neuromuscular Performance in Military Personnel

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          A necessarily high standard for physical readiness in tactical environments is often accompanied by high incidences of injury due to overaccumulations of neuromuscular fatigue (NMF). To account for instances of overtraining stimulated by NMF, close monitoring of neuromuscular performance is warranted. Previously validated tests, such as the countermovement jump, are useful means for monitoring performance adaptations, resiliency to fatigue, and risk for injury. Performing such tests on force plates provides an understanding of the movement strategy used to obtain the resulting outcome (e.g., jump height). Further, force plates afford numerous objective tests that are valid and reliable for monitoring upper and lower extremity muscular strength and power (thus sensitive to NMF) with less fatiguing and safer methods than traditional one-repetition maximum assessments. Force plates provide numerous software and testing application options that can be applied to military’s training but, to be effective, requires the practitioners to have sufficient knowledge of their functions. Therefore, this review aims to explain the functions of force plate testing as well as current best practices for utilizing force plates in military settings and disseminate protocols for valid and reliable testing to collect key variables that translate to physical performance capacities.

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          Quantifying test-retest reliability using the intraclass correlation coefficient and the SEM.

          Reliability, the consistency of a test or measurement, is frequently quantified in the movement sciences literature. A common metric is the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). In addition, the SEM, which can be calculated from the ICC, is also frequently reported in reliability studies. However, there are several versions of the ICC, and confusion exists in the movement sciences regarding which ICC to use. Further, the utility of the SEM is not fully appreciated. In this review, the basics of classic reliability theory are addressed in the context of choosing and interpreting an ICC. The primary distinction between ICC equations is argued to be one concerning the inclusion (equations 2,1 and 2,k) or exclusion (equations 3,1 and 3,k) of systematic error in the denominator of the ICC equation. Inferential tests of mean differences, which are performed in the process of deriving the necessary variance components for the calculation of ICC values, are useful to determine if systematic error is present. If so, the measurement schedule should be modified (removing trials where learning and/or fatigue effects are present) to remove systematic error, and ICC equations that only consider random error may be safely used. The use of ICC values is discussed in the context of estimating the effects of measurement error on sample size, statistical power, and correlation attenuation. Finally, calculation and application of the SEM are discussed. It is shown how the SEM and its variants can be used to construct confidence intervals for individual scores and to determine the minimal difference needed to be exhibited for one to be confident that a true change in performance of an individual has occurred.
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            The general adaptation syndrome and the diseases of adaptation.

             H Selye (1946)
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              Limb asymmetries in landing and jumping 2 years following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

              Female athletes who are at increased risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury demonstrate biomechanical differences between limbs during athletic tasks that may persist following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). This may limit an athlete's potential for safe return to sports competition. The purpose of this study was to determine if female athletes demonstrate lower limb asymmetries in landing and takeoff force following ACLR and clearance for return to competitive sports participation. We hypothesized that females following ACLR would demonstrate side-to-side differences in landing and jumping kinetics after their return to sport (2+ years) that would not be observed in a group of healthy female controls. Case control study. The Sports Medicine Biodynamics Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Fourteen female athletes at a mean of 27 months following ACLR and 18 healthy female athletes participated in the study. All subjects executed a drop vertical jump (DVJ) task onto 2 force plates. Vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) was measured during landing and takeoff and was used to calculate landing phase loading rates. A 2-way analysis of variance was used to determine differences between the involved, uninvolved, and control limbs. Females who had undergone ACLR demonstrated increased VGRF (P = 0.001) and loading rate (P < 0.001) on the uninvolved limb during landing when compared with the involved limb and the control group. During takeoff, the involved limb showed significantly less ability to generate force (P = 0.03) than the uninvolved limb and the control limbs. Female athletes who have undergone ACLR and returned to sport may continue to demonstrate biomechanical limb asymmetries 2 years or more after reconstruction that can be identified during landing.

                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                07 December 2020
                December 2020
                : 17
                : 23
                [1 ]Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA; jason.stone1@ 123456hsc.wvu.edu (J.D.S.); andrewg.thompson@ 123456hsc.wvu.edu (A.G.T.); william.hornsby@ 123456mail.wvu.edu (W.G.H.); joshua.hagen@ 123456hsc.wvu.edu (J.A.H.)
                [2 ]College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
                Author notes
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



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