Technique selection ‘the coaches challenge’ influencing injury risk during the first contact hand of the round off skill in female gymnastics

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Roman Farana, Daniel Jandacka, Jaroslav Uchytil, David Zahradnik, Gareth Irwin

The importance of technique selection on elbow injury risk has been identified for the key round off skill in female gymnastics, with a focus on the second contact limb. The aim of this study was to shift the focus to the first contact limb and investigate the biomechanical injury risk during parallel and T-shape round-off (RO) techniques. Seven international-level female gymnasts performed 10 trials of the RO to back-handspring with parallel and T-shape hand positions. Synchronized kinematic (3D motion analysis system; 247 Hz) and kinetic (two force plates; 1235 Hz) data were collected for each trial. The t-test with effect size statistics determined differences between the two techniques. No significant differences were found for vertical, anterior posterior and resultant ground reaction force, elbow joint kinematics and kinetics. Specifically, the results highlighted that change in technique in RO skills did not influence first contact limb elbow joint mechanics and therefore, injury risk. The findings of the present study suggest the injury potential of this skill is focused on the second limb during the parallel technique of this fundamental gymnastic skill.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0022
Key words
gymnastics, fundamental skill, upper extremity, prevention

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