The purpose of this study was to examine kinematic and kinetic differences in low and high intensity hand support impact loads during a forward handspring vault. A high-speed video camera (500 Hz) and two portable force platforms (500 Hz) were installed on the surface of the vault table. Two-dimensional analyses were conducted on 24 forward handspring vaults performed by 12 senior level, junior Olympic program female gymnasts (16.9 ±1.4 yr; body height 1.60 ±0.1 m; body mass 56.7 ±7.8 kg). Load intensities at impact with the vault table were classified as low (peak force < 0.8 × body weight) and high (peak force > 0.8 × body weight). These vaults were compared via crucial kinetic and kinematic variables using independent t-tests and Pearson correlations. Statistically significant (p < 0.001) differences were observed in peak force (t(24) = 4.75, ES = 3.37) and time to peak force (t(24) = 2.07, ES = 1.56). Statistically significant relationships between the loading rate and time to peak force were observed for high intensity loads. Peak force, time to peak force, and a shoulder angle at impact were identified as primary variables potentially involved in the determination of large repetitive loading rates on the forward handspring vault.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.