Special Issue "Biomechanics Energetics of Natural Assisted Human Comparative Movement Locomotion"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Symmetry/Asymmetry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Luca Paolo Ardigo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Exercise and Sport Science, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, 37100 Verona, Italy
Interests: training load monitoring; physical activity; metabolic expenditure; motor control; sport technology; testing; training
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Movement and locomotion have always been key activities for all animals, being so related to the most crucial life functions: retrieving food, facing environmental issues and mating. Thus, humans fully developed complex upper arms movements and bipedal gaits in order to move and locomote. To further enhance their performance, they started inventing smart passive mechanical tools. This need arose from both intrinsic limitations of their muscles-joints-bones system and metabolic power availability. Newly invented devices were mainly introduced in order to cope with such constraints.

How symmetrical/asymmetrical are most performing/economical human-powered assisted locomotion modes on land, water, and air to date; how did passively assisted locomotion and/or movement (for catching, manipulating, carrying, etc.) evolve over history in terms of symmetry degree; and how symmetrically do man-passive tool complex best adapt to extreme environmental conditions (viz. different gradients, surfaces, media, etc.) are only some of the potential topics regarding symmetry and biomechanics and energetics of passively assisted human movement and locomotion.

The aim of this Special Issue is to advance knowledge regarding symmetry and biomechanics and energetics of passively assisted human movement and locomotion.

Dr. Luca Paolo Ardigo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • symmetry
  • physical activity
  • metabolic expenditure
  • motor control
  • sport technology
  • testing
  • training

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
The Effect of a Secondary Task on Kinematics during Turning in Parkinson’s Disease with Mild to Moderate Impairment
Symmetry 2020, 12(8), 1284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sym12081284 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) show typical gait asymmetries. These peculiar motor impairments are exacerbated by added cognitive and/or mechanical loading. However, there is scarce literature that chains these two stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effects of [...] Read more.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) show typical gait asymmetries. These peculiar motor impairments are exacerbated by added cognitive and/or mechanical loading. However, there is scarce literature that chains these two stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effects of a dual task (cognitive task) and turning (mechanical task) on the spatiotemporal parameters in mild to moderate PD. Participants (nine patients with PD and nine controls (CRs)) were evaluated while walking at their self-selected pace without a secondary task (single task), and while repeating the days of the week backwards (dual task) along a straight direction and a 60° and 120° turn. As speculated, in single tasking, PD patients preferred to walk with a shorter stride length (p < 0.05) but similar timing parameters, compared to the CR group; in dual tasking, both groups walked slower with shorter strides. As the turn angle increased, the speed will be reduced (p < 0.001), whereas the ground–foot contact will become greater (p < 0.001) in all the participants. We showed that the combination of a simple cognitive task and a mechanical task (especially at larger angles) could represent an important training stimulus in PD at the early stages of the pathology. Full article
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Article
Agreement Between Dribble and Change of Direction Deficits to Assess Directional Asymmetry in Young Elite Football Players
Symmetry 2020, 12(5), 787; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sym12050787 - 08 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the agreement between asymmetries of dribble and change of direction (COD) deficits and to determine their potential difference to each other. Sixteen young elite football players were recruited and tested for sprint (over 10 m), dribbling (90°CODdribbling [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the agreement between asymmetries of dribble and change of direction (COD) deficits and to determine their potential difference to each other. Sixteen young elite football players were recruited and tested for sprint (over 10 m), dribbling (90°CODdribbling) and COD (90°CODrunning) performance in dominant (fastest) and non-dominant (slowest) directions. Dribble and COD deficits were computed to express dribbling and COD ability without the influence of acceleration. The asymmetric index (AI%) of both dribble and COD deficits were obtained for both directions. The level of agreement between dribble and COD deficits was assessed by Cohen’s kappa statistic (κ). Results showed that AI% measured by dribble and COD deficits presented a poor level of agreement (κ = −0.159), indicating their imbalance did not favor the same direction. Moreover, AI% of the dribble deficit was significantly higher than those of the COD deficit. This study demonstrated that asymmetries in dribbling and change of direction performance (measured by dribble and COD deficit) were not in agreement to favor the same direction, also displaying a significant difference to each other. Practitioners should consider the task-specificity of asymmetry to reduce the imbalance in dribbling and COD performance. Full article
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Article
Core Stability and Symmetry of Youth Female Volleyball Players: A Pilot Study on Anthropometric and Physiological Correlates
Symmetry 2020, 12(2), 249; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sym12020249 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to examine the variation in core stability and symmetry of youth female volleyball players by age, and its relationship with anthropometric characteristics, the 30 s Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT), and the 30 s Bosco test. Female [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to examine the variation in core stability and symmetry of youth female volleyball players by age, and its relationship with anthropometric characteristics, the 30 s Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT), and the 30 s Bosco test. Female volleyball players (n = 24, age 13.9 ± 1.9 years, mean ± standard deviation) performed a series of anthropometric, core stability tests (isometric muscle endurance of torso flexors, extensors, and right and left lateral bridge), WAnT (peak power, mean power, Pmean, and fatigue index, FI) and Bosco test (Pmean). Flexors-to-extensors ratio and right-to-left lateral bridge ratio were also calculated. Participants were grouped into younger (n = 12, 12.3 ± 1.2 years) or older than 14 years (n = 12, 15.4 ± 1.0 years), and into normal (flexors-to-extensors ratio < 1; n = 17) or abnormal flexors-to-extensors ratio (≥1; n = 7). The older age group was heavier (+11.3 kg, mean difference; 95% CI, 2.0, 20.6) and with higher body mass index (+2.8 kg m−2; 95% CI, 0.4, 5.1) than the younger age group. The group with abnormal flexors/extensors had larger flexors muscle endurance (+77.4 s; 95% CI, 41.8, 113.0) and higher flexors/extensors ratio (+0.85; 95% CI, 0.61, 1.10) than the normal group. Body fat percentage (BF) correlated moderately-to-largely with flexors (r = −0.44, p = 0.033), extensors (r = −0.51, p = 0.011), and left lateral bridge (r = −0.45, p = 0.027); WAnT Pmean moderately-to-largely with right (r = 0.46, p = 0.027) and left lateral bridge (r = 0.55, p = 0.006); FI moderately-to-largely with right (r = −0.45, p = 0.031) and left lateral bridge (r = −0.67, p < 0.001), and right/left ratio (r = 0.42, p = 0.046); Bosco Pmean correlated moderately-to-largely with right (r = 0.48, p = 0.020) and left lateral bridge (r = 0.67, p = 0.001). A stepwise regression analysis indicated FI and BF as the most frequent predictors of core stability. The findings of the present study suggested that increased core stability was related to decreased BF and increased anaerobic capacity. A potential misbalance between torso flexors and extensors might be attributed to bidirectional variations (either high or low scores) of flexors muscle endurance rather than decreased extensors muscle endurance. Full article
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Article
Effects of Nordic Walking on Gait Symmetry in Mild Parkinson’s Disease
Symmetry 2019, 11(12), 1481; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sym11121481 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have gait asymmetries, and exercise therapy may reduce the differences between more and less affected limbs. The Nordic walking (NW) training may contribute to reducing the asymmetry in upper and lower limb movements in people with PD. We [...] Read more.
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have gait asymmetries, and exercise therapy may reduce the differences between more and less affected limbs. The Nordic walking (NW) training may contribute to reducing the asymmetry in upper and lower limb movements in people with PD. We compared the effects of 11 weeks of NW aerobic training on asymmetrical variables of gait in subjects with mild PD. Fourteen subjects with idiopathic PD, age: 66.8 ± 9.6 years, and Hoehn and Yard stage of 1.5 points were enrolled. The kinematic analysis was performed pre and post-intervention. Data were collected at two randomized walking speeds (0.28 m·s−1 and 0.83 m·s−1) during five minutes on the treadmill without poles. The more affected and less affected body side symmetries (threshold at 5% between sides) of angular kinematics and spatiotemporal gait parameters were calculated. We used Generalized Estimating Equations with Bonferroni post hoc (α = 0.05). Maximal flexion of the knee (p = 0.007) and maximal abduction of the hip (p = 0.041) were asymmetrical pre and became symmetrical post NW intervention. The differences occurred in the knee was less affected and the hip was more affected. We concluded that 11 weeks of NW training promoted similarities in gait parameters and improved knee and hip angular parameters for PD subjects. Full article
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Article
Race Walking Ground Reaction Forces at Increasing Speeds: A Comparison with Walking and Running
Symmetry 2019, 11(7), 873; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sym11070873 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1254
Abstract
Race walking has been theoretically described as a walking gait in which no flight time is allowed and high travelling speed, comparable to running (3.6–4.2 m s−1), is achieved. The aim of this study was to mechanically understand such a “hybrid [...] Read more.
Race walking has been theoretically described as a walking gait in which no flight time is allowed and high travelling speed, comparable to running (3.6–4.2 m s−1), is achieved. The aim of this study was to mechanically understand such a “hybrid gait” by analysing the ground reaction forces (GRFs) generated in a wide range of race walking speeds, while comparing them to running and walking. Fifteen athletes race-walked on an instrumented walkway (4 m) and three-dimensional GRFs were recorded at 1000 Hz. Subjects were asked to performed three self-selected speeds corresponding to a low, medium and high speed. Peak forces increased with speeds and medio-lateral and braking peaks were higher than in walking and running, whereas the vertical peaks were higher than walking but lower than running. Vertical GRF traces showed two characteristic patterns: one resembling the “M-shape” of walking and the second characterised by a first peak and a subsequent plateau. These different patterns were not related to the athletes’ performance level. The analysis of the body centre of mass trajectory, which reaches its vertical minimum at mid-stance, showed that race walking should be considered a bouncing gait regardless of the presence or absence of a flight phase. Full article
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