ROUNDHOUSE KICK WITH AND WITHOUT IMPACT IN KARATEKA OF DIFFERENT TECHNICAL LEVEL
Keywords: Roundhouse kick, Karate, muscular co-activation
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to compare two different Karate roundhouse kicks performed by athletes of different technical level. The combination of high movement velocities and a high technical difficulty, qualify these actions as a good model to quantify the ability of a Karateka to execute complex movements. The first kick, directed to the face, entails a strong braking action to avoid the impact (NI), the other, directed to the chest, is concluded by an impact (IM). Technical aspects and the role of muscular co-activation as joint protector were investigated in six top level Karateka (KA) and six practicing karate amateurs (CO), by estimating joint kinematics and neuromuscular activity patterns. KA presented a faster execution for both tasks, prevalently due to a faster knee extension, supported by a low co-activation of the antagonist Biceps Femoris. This behaviour confirms that elite KA tend to lower the co-activation of antagonist muscles during fast movements, partially in contrast with the antagonists possible role in maintaining knee stability. The NI task, requiring higher technical competence and entailing a high target, is performed by KA athletes using a peculiar technique, based on a wide hip flexion-extension range, with a peak hip ab-adduction occurring earlier than in CO. A lower co-activation presented by CO during knee flexion is presumably due to their difficulty in mastering this complex kick.
Coaching and Sports Activities
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