Biomechanical uncertainties of field based data during high bar release skills
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Ecological validity is a focal concern within applied sports biomechanics, however this often runs parallel with a reduction in accuracy and reliability due to restrictions regarding interference with the sporting environment. The aim of this research was to increase knowledge of the uncertainties associated with field based data during complex high bar skills in men’s artistic gymnastics with the overall purpose of informing future applied research and supporting the interpretation of field-based data. Synchronized kinetic (strain gauge: 1000 Hz) and kinematic (Lab: CODA, 200 Hz; Field: video, 50 Hz) data were collected for a single gymnast performing 5 dismounts and Tkachevs. Based on themes of displacement, velocity and acceleration, uncertainties in video data were quantified using (%)RMSD throughout skills and at key points (functional phase(s) and release). Uncertainties increased with each time differentiation of displacement, demonstrating propagation of error and uncertainty associated with more complex variables. Variation between methods at the start of the shoulder functional phase highlighted discrepancies in joint angle between 190-260° circle angle. This finding indicated that a single fixed marker may not be a valid approach to identify the shoulder joint centre during high bar skills, supported further by the observation of greater uncertainties in joint angles, forces and moments at the shoulder than at the hip. The differences reported throughout show consistency within skills, however between skills there were evident differences, indicating that a skill specific methodology may be beneficial. Variation in release parameters, specifically angular momentum indicated that a skill specific approach may also be appropriate to define the instant of release. This research provides insight into the uncertainties associated with field based data (video); the knowledge developed informs scientists regarding the appropriateness of methods and consequently interpretation of results associated with key performance variables. This allows for meaningful information to be gained about gymnastics performance and provides future direction for research in the area.
MPhil - School of Sport
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