A Kinematic Analysis of Wheelchair Propulsion Techniques in Senior Male, Senior Female, and Junior Male Athletes

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Victoria L. GooseyManchester Metropolitan University

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Neil E. FowlerManchester Metropolitan University

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Ian G. CampbellStaffordshire University

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The aim of the study was to examine and compare the propulsion techniques of senior male, senior female, and junior male athletes and to determine the relationship between the kinematic variables and performance. A two-dimensional video analysis was performed on the 800 m finals (n = 23) at the 1994 British Wheelchair National Track Championships. From this, the angle of lean, elbow angle, and the cycle dynamics were determined. The senior male athletes achieved a faster maximum velocity (7.3 ± 0.3 m.s-1) than that achieved by the senior female (5.9 ± 1.0 m.s1) and junior male athletes (6.0 ± 1.0 m.s-1), resulting in a greater distance covered during each push cycle. The kinematic analysis showed that the junior athletes adopted a 5° more upright position and spent less time in contact with the hand-rim (25%) than the senior athletes. A moderate correlation was found between cycle distance and performance time (r = -0.68; p < 0.01). In conclusion, this study suggests that there are kinematic differences between senior male, senior female, and junior male wheelchair athletes.

The support by the Sports Council, who fund the British Wheelchair Racing Association (BWRA) Sports Science Support Program, which is based at the Manchester Metropolitan University is acknowledged. In addition, an acknowledgment is made to the BWRA for their cooperation with the filming during the competition.

Victoria L. Goosey and Neil E. Fowler are both with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 2HL, UK. Ian G. Campbell is with the Division of Sport, Health, and Exercise at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2DF, UK.

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