NEUROMUSCULAR CONTROL DURING GYMNASTIC LANDINGS

  • Lars Janshen
Keywords: gymnastics, landings, neuromuscular control, EMG, foot stability

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze muscular activity of the lower extremity during gymnastic landings from four different heights. Twelve female gymnasts at two training levels performed landings from heights of 0.5 m, 1.0 m, 1.5 m and 2.0 m. Myoelectric activity of specific muscles of the left leg, pressure distribution under the left foot and kinematics of the landings were recorded. All muscles showed pre-activation prior to touchdown. Pre-activation time and intensity escalated with increasing falling heights. Compared to the less trained subjects, the longer muscular pre-activation in highly trained athletes led to increased stiffness of the knee and ankle joint. This caused greater maximum forces under the leading foot and lower maximum forces under the rear foot of the highlevel athletes during landings from greater heights compared to the less trained gymnasts.