TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE ATTENUATE PROTECTIVE GAIT STRATEGIES DURING BEAM WALKING
Keywords: musculoskeletal Injury, balance, gymnasts, EMG, protective strategies
AbstractWalking on a narrow, raised beam is more difficult than walking across a floor. During beam walking, a protective strategy designed to maximise stability is adopted. This study compared the electrical activity (EMG) of selected leg muscles during normal walking with that during beam walking in novice and expert subjects. Results show that whilst changes (compared with normal walking) occurred in all subjects during beam walking, the magnitude of these changes is less in experts than in novices. In particular experts showed reduced muscle co-contraction during beam walking than novices. Thus whilst a protective strategy is elicited in expert subjects, the extent to which it is manifest is reduced. Experts maintain more typical patterns of EMG and should be less prone to muscle fatigue, a factor known to increase the risk of injury.
Coaching and Sports Activities
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