Upper-body kinematics in team-handball throw, tennis serve, and volleyball spike

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Abstract

Overarm movements are essential skills in many different sport games; however, the adaptations to different sports are not well understood. The aim of the study was to analyze upper-body kinematics in the team-handball throw, tennis serve, and volleyball spike, and to calculate differences in the proximal-to-distal sequencing and joint movements. Three-dimensional kinematic data were analyzed via the Vicon motion capturing system. The subjects (elite players) were instructed to perform a team-handball jump throw, tennis serve, and volleyball spike with a maximal ball velocity and to hit a specific target. Significant differences (P <0.05) between the three overarm movements were found in 17 of 24 variables. The order of the proximal-to-distal sequencing was equal in the three analyzed overarm movements. Equal order of the proximal-to-distal sequencing and similar angles in the acceleration phase suggest there is a general motor pattern in overarm movements. However, overarm movements appear to be modifiable in situations such as for throwing or hitting a ball with or without a racket, and due to differences at takeoff (with one or two legs).

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