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Biomechanics in Paralympics: Implications for Performance

Morriën, Floor and Taylor, Matthew JD and Hettinga, Florentina J (2017) 'Biomechanics in Paralympics: Implications for Performance.' International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12 (5). 578 - 589. ISSN 1555-0265

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Abstract

Purpose: To provide an overview of biomechanical studies in Paralympic research and their relevance for performance in Paralympic sports. Methods: The search terms paralympic biomechanics, paralympic sport performance, paralympic athlete performance, and paralympic athlete were entered into the electronic database PubMed. Results: Thirty-four studies were found. Biomechanical studies in Paralympics mainly contributed to performance enhancement by technical optimization (n = 32) and/or injury prevention (n = 6). In addition, biomechanics was found to be important in understanding activity limitation caused by various impairments, which is relevant for evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports (n = 6). Distinctions were made between biomechanical studies in sitting (41%), standing (38%), and swimming athletes (21%). In sitting athletes, mostly kinematics and kinetics in wheelchair propulsion were studied, mainly in athletes with spinal-cord injuries. In addition, kinetics and/or kinematics in wheelchair basketball, seated discus throwing, stationary shot-putting, hand-cycling, sit-skiing, and ice sledge hockey received attention. In standing sports, primarily kinematics of athletes with amputations performing jump sports and running and the optimization of prosthetic devices were investigated. No studies were reported on other standing sports. In swimming, mainly kick rate and resistance training were studied. Conclusions: Biomechanical research is important for performance by gaining insight into technical optimization, injury prevention, and evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports. In future studies it is advised to also include physiological and biomechanical measures, allowing the assessment of the capability of the human body, as well as the resulting movement.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: physical disability, adapted sports, sports performance, performance enhancement, athletes
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 10:23
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 10:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18533

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