Balance training helped overcome the differences between the primary and dependent sides of the body.
Newswise — Scientists from the Baltic Federal University Immanuel Kant and colleagues from the University of Innopolis have jointly developed a mathematical model that helps describe the process of stabilization from an unstable position to steady state . Based on this model, the authors found that short training sessions aimed at maintaining balance help reduce the differences between the right and left limbs. The results of their research are published in Chaos, Solitions and Fractals.
In order to plan physical loads correctly, it is essential to know how the human body adapts to them during short training sessions. In addition, modeling the training process helps to understand the process of education through exercise. Also, you should always keep in mind that people are characterized by functional asymmetry, when one of the limbs tends to be the main one. And if you overload the “dependent” arm or leg, it can lead to sports injuries such as sprains or broken bones.
Scientists from the Baltic Federal University Immanuel Kant (Kaliningrad), Innopolis University (Innopolis) and their colleagues from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Madrid) described the work of different muscles of the human body during short courses on Balance Platform. Sixteen volunteers – healthy right-handed middle-aged men from the University of Innopolis participated in this research. The participants trained in balance in three sets of ten-minute exercises, when they had to stay on an unstable desk, the central part of which was connected to a rotating attachment. This platform is reminiscent of a lever, an inverted pendulum and a seesaw whose desk, childless on its opposite sides, is tilted left or right due to gravity. To maintain balance, you must hold the platform almost parallel to the surface of the earth, using the work of the muscles and moving masses of the center of the body.
During the experiment, the authors estimated the mode and speed with which the inclination of the music stand changes when standing on it, as well as the activity of the muscles involved in maintaining balance. To achieve this, the scientists attached the electrodes to the area of the flexor and extensor muscles of the participants’ leg and thigh skin.
The main difference between this particular experiment and many others is that a test person must find the most effective strategy of managing the platform actively on their own, without any recommendations or direction.
It turns out that short-term training aimed at maintaining equilibration influences the effectiveness of platform multistability management, i.e. the stable two-condition system – when the platform is tilted to the left or to the right – turns into a stable three-condition system under the influence of the test person – it was completed by the position parallel to the surface of the earth. To describe this process, the authors used the mathematical model, based on the Fokker-Planck equation, which explains the behavior of the particle in the potential well. The potential well is the area in which the object has the least potential energy. This very position is considered the most stable. During the experiment, as a result of the training, the state of the system “a test person on the platform” changed so that the potential well, corresponding to the third initially unstable condition, tends to deepen. All this proves the fact that a test person successfully solves the task of decreasing the potential energy of the platform, otherwise, increases the stability of the platform without directly changing the characteristics of the system.
The authors proved that the motion trajectory of the platform during the experiment was asymmetrical due to the dominance of the right part of the test person’s body over the left part. Thus, the angular velocity of the platform on the side of the left foot was higher than on the right, and the work of the corresponding muscles increased. As a result, the “front” limb was under greater pressure and provided better balance control. However, by the third workout, the asymmetry was almost completely gone, indicating that the workouts helped reduce the difference in the amount of work done by the “director” and “dependent” muscles.
“Short training sessions on the balancing platform improve coordination in a fairly short time. Thus, the time the volunteers managed to hold on the desk increases by more than half, only after 30 minutes of experience. In addition to this, the participants overcame the asymmetry of the right and left legs. In the future, we plan to research longer workouts, to estimate their effects. – says Alexander Hramov, professor, doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, head of the laboratory of neuroscience and cognitive technologies of the University of Innopolis, chief researcher of the center of neurotechnology and machine learning of the Federal University of Baltic Immanuel Kant.
“Research of the process of manipulation by man of complex objects in space is very important for understanding the processes of education. In the future, this may be useful for perfecting machines such as bipedal robots,” comments Vladimir Horev, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Principal Investigator at the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Cognitive Technologies, University of Innopolis.