Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Lower-limb biomechanical asymmetry in maximal velocity sprint running

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posted on 2022-10-14, 10:38 authored by Timothy Exell

Biomechanical asymmetry analyses have provided valuable insight into submaximal running and walking gait. Knowledge of asymmetry in sprint running is limited  due  to  traditional  unilateral  methods  of  data  collection.  The  overall  aim  of this research was to develop insight into kinematic and kinetic asymmetry in sprint running,  with  the  purpose  of  informing  future research  specifically  into maximal velocity sprint running. Asymmetry  was  quantified  for  a  group  of  trained  sprint  runners  (mean  velocity  = 9.03  m∙s-1)  using anexisting  symmetry  angle  (θSYM)measure. Biomechanical methods were developed to maximise the collection of kinematic data utilising both marker-based  and  non-intrusive  techniques,  and  kinetic  data using multiple  force plates. Calculationswere extended, to build on the θSYM, and used for quantifying overall  kinematic  and  kinetic  asymmetry  for  individual  athletes. Novel asymmetry scores were  developed  that  incorporated  the  previously  negated  consideration of intra-limb  variability.  The  interaction  of  kinematic  and  kinetic  asymmetry  was compared for a range of sprint runnersusing the newly created asymmetry scores.θSYM values  were  larger  for key  kinematic  variables  than  step  characteristics; values of  6.7%  and  1.7%  were  reported  for touchdown  distance and step frequency,  respectively. The largest  asymmetry  values  were  kinetic,  with  some θSYM values exceeding 90%.  The  magnitude  of  asymmetry  and  variables  that displayed  significant  asymmetry  varied  on  an  inter-athlete  basis.  Kinematic  and kinetic  asymmetry  scores developed  within  this  researchranged from 4.5  to 27.6 and   6.3   to   28.7,respectively;   however,   no   consistent   relationship   between kinematic  and  kinetic  asymmetry  was  found. Compensatory  kinetic  mechanisms may serve  to reduce  the  effects  of  asymmetry  on  step  characteristics  and  the performance  outcome of step  velocity. The  novel  bilateral  analyses  performed  in this  researchidentified  the  presence of asymmetry, indicating that unilateral analyses of sprint running may lead to important information being overlooked. 



  • School of Sport and Health Sciences

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  • Doctoral

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  • PhD

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