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The purposes of this study were (a) to determine the magnitude of the angular momentum elite triple jumpers possess during each of the three phases of a triple jump, and (b) to identify those components of the angular momentum that are closely related to the actual distance of the triple jump. Angular momentum about each of three orthogonal axes at the takeoff of each of the last stride, hop, step, and jump was computed from the smoothed 3-D coordinate data of 21 body landmarks and joint centers and normalized to body mass (mb) and standing height (hb). Linear and nonlinear regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between angular momenta and actual distance. The results suggested that the estimated optimum magnitude of this side-somersaulting angular momentum is 0.0069 mb hb2 kg · m2 · s-1 toward the side of the free leg, that the side-somersaulting angular momentum needed at the takeoff of the step should be obtained during the support phase of the hop; and that the change in the side-somersaulting angular momentum during the support phase of the step should be minimized.
Bing Yu and James G. Hay are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.