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Title: Kinetics control in runners in natural-running conditions after completion of a laboratory-based gait retraining program
Authors: Zhang, Hanwen
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: This thesis consists of two sections. The main research question of the first section is how runners would maintain and translate a newly learned running gait into varied running conditions after completion of an established running gait retraining protocol. Instructed to soften their footfalls during training using real time biofeedback, runners were shown to effectively lower impact loading after completion of the training protocol. However, whether runners would be able to maintain the modified running biomechanics in other conditions was unclear. We conducted the first study in this section to establish an association between peak tibial shock and vertical loading rate, which was considered as a risk factor for running injuries. Based on this association, peak tibial shock could be used as a substitute of vertical loading rates in our further tests. The motor learning translation was then assessed in the second and third study in this section. The translation conditions included 1) inter-limb translation; 2) inter-speed translation; 3) inter-slope translation; and 4) treadmill-overground translation. Furthermore, we conducted a fourth study which aimed to assess the motor strategies adopted by the runners after the gait retraining program. This study aimed to address the question about how the motor strategies would affect the translation of learning effect. The second section of this thesis included several exploratory studies that sought to explore applications of new technologies in gait modification, or to provide insights for future studies in the area of running biomechanics. The first study in the second section assessed a new shoe design and its effect in running gait. The second study in this section aimed to explore potential innate running biomechanics that might contribute to a better distance running performance. The third tried to apply an artificial neural network in the construction of a model to predict footstrike angle, which is a commonly used kinematic parameter in running research. The fourth study described a wearable exoskeleton robot and reported some preliminary findings of the application of this robot in the area of stroke rehabilitation.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Running -- Physiological aspects
Running injuries -- Prevention
Running -- Training
Running shoes
Award: FHSS Faculty Distinguished Thesis Award (2018/19)
Pages: xix, 175 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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