Biomechanical characteristics of handstand walking initiation
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Background The initiation in human locomotion is defined as the transition between upright stance and steady-state gait. While past literature abundantly investigated the initiation in bipedal gait, the initiation of handstand walking remains unexplored. Research question The current study aims to characterise the centre of pressure (CoP) and centre of mass (CoM) trajectory of handstand walking initiation as well as the spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters and balance strategy of this task. Also, the study examined the CoP trajectory similarity within- and between-participants using a coefficient of multiple correlation analysis. Methods Nineteen gymnasts took part in this study. Handstand walking initiation trials were recorded using force plates and a stereophotogrammetric system. CoM and CoP trajectories were analysed during the Baseline, Preparation and Execution phases of the motor task. Results We found that to successfully perform the handstand walking initiation, a shift of the CoM forward and towards the stance hand is required as a result of a lateral and posterior CoP shift. All participants performed a similar CoP pattern in the mediolateral direction, whereas two anteroposterior CoP displacement strategies were identified across participants based on different timing execution of posterior CoP shift. While CoP and CoM kinematic differences were identified during the Preparation Phase due to the adopted strategy, no significant difference was found in the Execution Phase for the spatiotemporal and kinematic characteristics. Significance A better understanding of the required CoP/CoM patterns and balance control provides the basis for further neuromechanics research on the topic and could contribute to individualise training protocols to improve the learning of the task.
Gait & Posture;
Grabowiecki, M., Rum, L., Laudani, L. and Vannozzi, G. (2021) 'Biomechanical characteristics of handstand walking initiation', Gait & Posture, 86, pp.311-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2021.03.036
Article published in Gait & Posture available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2021.03.036
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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