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Background : Postural strategies of the trunk and the lower limbs are linked to upper limb motor activities. The objective was to analyze the postural organization at the lower limbs as well as the inter-limb coordination during isometric maximal bilateral pushing of upper limbs. Methods : Fifteen individuals after stroke and 17 healthy participants were assessed with an instrumented exerciser paired with an instrumented sitting surface while they executed isometric bilateral pushes with the upper limbs. The anteroposterior, vertical and mediolateral forces were recorded at the handles, the thighs and the feet. Force values at maximal bilateral pushing efforts at each segment and inter-limb coordination between sides were compared. Findings : During the isometric pushes, the paretic maximal forces at the handles for stroke participants were lower than the nonparetic side and lower than both sides of the control participants (p < 0.036). The control and stroke participants had moderate to good coordination for the anteroposterior forces (hands and thighs). While they used similar postural strategies to the controls except for a decreased weight on the paretic foot, vertical forces were less coordinated at the handles and feet in the stroke group (p < 0.050). The inter-trial variability was also higher in the stroke group. Interpretation : Bilateral pushing with gradual efforts induces impaired postural strategies and coordination between limbs in individuals after stroke. It may reveal to be a promising strategy to assess and train post-stroke individuals in a clinical setting. Also, providing feedback would help better control symmetry during efforts.

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