Effects of Experience on Gymnasts’ Kinematics and Performances
Event Type
TimeWednesday, October 6th4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
LocationHarborside CDE
DescriptionIn studying the effects of expertise on different performance aspects of the gymnastic vault event, various springboard types with similar compression forces were evaluated between expert and novice-level gymnasts. Surface EMGs (sEMG) were placed on four major muscles (biceps femoris, rectus femoris, gastrocnemius medialis, and tibialis anterior) to find each gymnasts’ maximum voluntary contraction. Similarly, board compression and knee flexion angles were also captured at various phases of the performed vaults. Given that gymnasts with more expertise were more consistent in their landing spot on the various vault boards, they had more consistent performance outputs as a result. Expert gymnasts did this by more accurately hitting the sweet spot, more consistently activating their hamstring and gastrocnemius, and decreasing variability during the initial contact phase. By doing this, board compression and performance were both optimized. Coaches can use this information to accelerate the development of novice gymnasts by targeting these aspects.