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Asymmetrical stabilization and mobilization exploited during static single leg stance and goal directed kicking.

Hum Mov Sci. 2017 Aug;54:182-190

Authors: King AC, Wang Z

The motor control properties of the right and left legs are dependent on the stabilization and mobilization features of the motor tasks. The current investigation examined the right and left leg control differences – interlateral asymmetries – during static single leg stance and dynamic goal directed kicking with an emphasis of the asymmetrical stabilization and mobilization components of movements. Ten young, healthy, right-leg preferred individuals with minimal kicking experience completed both tests on each limb. During static single leg stance, participants were requested to stand as still as possible with one leg in contact with a force platform. Interlateral asymmetries of the standing leg were quantified using postural variability measures of the center of pressure (COP) standard deviation in the anterior-posterior (SD-COPAP) and medial-lateral (SD-COPML) directions, resultant COP length and velocity, and 95% COP elliptical area. During dynamic goal directed kicking, participants stood on two adjacent force platforms in a side-by-side foot position and kicked a soccer ball toward three different directions as soon as they received an auditory cue of kicking. Three targets were located -30°, 0° or 30° in front and 3.05 m away from the participants’ midline. Participants kicked the ball toward the targets with each of their feet. The vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) of the kicking leg was used to define the preparation (from above two standard deviations of vGRF baseline to toe-off) and swing (from toe-off to toe-return) phases of dynamic kicking. To determine the presence of interlateral asymmetries during dynamic kicking, the magnitude and timing of the anticipatory postural adjustments (APA) during the preparation phase of kicking were quantified using the lateral net COP (COPnet-ML) time series derived from both force platforms. Postural variability measures of the support leg and the kinematic joint range of motion (JROM) trajectories of the kicking leg were also used to examined interlateral asymmetries. During static stance, no between-leg significance was identified for all dependent measures of COP variability suggesting symmetrical stabilization. During the preparation phase of kicking, both right and left leg kicking exhibited a similar level of APA magnitude, although the left leg kicking was shown to reach its maximum APA magnitude earlier than the right leg. In the support leg role, the right leg showed greater COP variability in the ML direction as compared to the left support leg and greater COP variability was observed when kicking in the ipsilateral direction compared to the center and contralateral directions. For mobilization control, the left kicking leg showed greater JROM displacements at the distal (knee and ankle) joints and reduced JROM primarily with hip frontal plane movements compared to the right kicking leg. The reported interlateral asymmetries during kicking may reflect a behavioral adaptation that results in differential stabilization between the right and left legs. Overall, the findings suggest that novel tasks, such as dynamic goal directed kicking, appear to be more sensitive than static balance in identifying interlateral asymmetries.

PMID: 28501732 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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