Effects of Task Difficulty on Centre of Pressure Excursion and Its Inter-Trial Variability in Acrobatic Gymnastics Pyramid Performance

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Taylor & Francis
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Despite the importance of balance in Acrobatic Gymnastic Pyramid performance, there is limited biomechanical analysis of balance during this activity. The aims of this study were to analyse the effect of pyramid difficulty on the centre of pressure (COP) excursion and its inter-trial variability, and determine which parameters had strongest relationship with performance. Forty-seven acrobatic gymnasts performed five trials of back and front pyramids and a third more difficult, handstand pyramid on a force platform. Pyramids were held for 7 seconds and surface area, range, mediolateral amplitude and anteroposterior amplitude of the CoP were examined to analyse balance. The pyramid scores were obtained from qualified judges to assess the performance. Results showed higher CoP excursions and inter-trial variability during the execution of the high difficulty pyramid. Higher judges' scores were associated with lower CoP excursions in all the pyramids regardless of the difficulty. Similarly, correlation between inter-trial variability and pyramid performance was observed, although these coefficients were lower than those reported for the relationship between CoP excursion and performance. These results suggested that CoP monitoring could help coaches and gymnasts to assess the pyramid instability more accurately.
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Sports Biomech . 2020 Jun 22;1-16.
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