The relationships between the proportionality of an artistic female gymnast's limb segment lengths/breadths, and their success on each of the four Olymipic disciplines
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of the current study was to identify which body segmental lengths/breadths relate to individual apparatus success, using biomechanics to explain the relationships that were found- To evaluate this, 24 anthropometric measurements were investigated using 17 National level gymnasts. Personal bests for each gymnast on the four individual gymnastic events (vault asymmetric bars, beam and floor) were recorded. For the purpose of this study, where individual apparatus success is of importance, a ranking system was derived using the gymnast's personal best scores. A score of I was given for a gymnast's best event, up to a score of 4 for the gymnast's weakest event. Pearson's product moment correlation and semi-partial correlation was then performed, on the data collected. Only two significant relationships were found (hand breadth and beam -6.02, acromailedactylion and beam : -0.516) these showed up when age, stature and mass were controlled for using semi-partial correlation. Even though not significant a general trend did appear. lt would seem that gymnasts with long limbs tended to achieve on vault, whilst the opposite was found for the other three pieces of apparatus. It was concluded that in general the proportionahty of limb segments/breadths don't exhibit a strong relationship with apparatus success. So the hypothesis "the proportionality of the gymnast's segmental lengths and breadths will relate to their success, on each of the four Olympic disciplines" was rejected, and that the difference in performance could bs attributed to other factors such as psychological and tactical issues.
BSc (Hons) Sport, PE and Recreation
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