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Simo Ihalainen, Vesa Linnamo, Kaisu Mononen and Sami Kuitunen


To describe the long-term changes in shooting technique in relation to competition performances in elite air-rifle shooters.


Seventeen elite shooters completed simulated air-rifle shooting-competition series in 3 consecutive seasons, participating on 15 ± 7 testing occasions. Shooting score and aiming-point-trajectory variables were obtained with an optoelectronic shooting device, and postural-balance variables were measured with force platform. Shooters’ competition results were collected from all international and national competitions during the 3-y period.


Mean test score, stability of hold, aiming accuracy, cleanness of triggering, and postural balance improved during the 3-y period (ANOVA, time, P < .05−.01). Seasonal mean test results in stability of hold (R = −.70, P = .000) and cleanness of triggering (R = −.75, P = .000) were related to competition performances. Changes in stability of hold (R = −.61, P = .000) and cleanness of triggering (R = −.39, P = .022) were also related to the changes in competition performances. Postural balance in shooting direction was more related to cleanness of triggering (R = .57, P = .000), whereas balance in cross-shooting direction was more related to stability of hold (R = .70, P = .000).


The shooting-technique testing used in the current study seems to be a valid and useful tool for long-term performance assessment. Stability of hold, cleanness of triggering, and postural balance can be further developed even at the elite level, resulting in improved competition performances.

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Reijo Bottas, Kari Miettunen, Paavo Komi and Vesa Linnamo

The aim was to examine the acute and delayed effects of exercise-induced muscle damage and soreness on elbow target movements (TM) performance and control. Ten males performed an exercise of 50 maximal eccentric elbow actions. TMs were performed at three movement ranges. Maximal forces, active stretch reflex and TM were tested, and muscle soreness, creatine kinase and elbow joint stiffness were determined acute (after and 2 h) and delayed (2, 4, 6, 8d) postexercise. Both the long lasting muscle soreness and force drop were observed after the exercise. Joint stiffness was increased at 2 h postexercise. The highest deterioration in flexion-TM performance was found at the time (2 h) and at the elbow angles (most flexed) where force drop was the greatest. The increased TM time was concomitant with the flexors changed timing, decreased peak EMG, and with their reduced stretch reflex amplitude. However, the effects on triphasic EMG activity pattern of TM were not joint angle specific. Dysfunction of fastest motor units and the sensitization of small group III / IV muscle afferents might have been responsible for the amplitude modulations of the activity pattern.

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Valeria Rosso, Laura Gastaldi, Walter Rapp, Stefan Lindinger, Yves Vanlandewijck, Sami Äyrämö and Vesa Linnamo

In cross-country sit-skiing, the trunk plays a crucial role in propulsion generation and balance maintenance. Trunk stability is evaluated by automatic responses to unpredictable perturbations; however, electromyography is challenging. The aim of this study was to identify a measure to group sit-skiers according to their ability to control the trunk. Seated in their competitive sit-ski, 10 male and 5 female Paralympic sit-skiers received 6 forward and 6 backward unpredictable perturbations in random order. k-means clustered trunk position at rest, delay to invert the trunk motion, and trunk range of motion significantly into 2 groups. In conclusion, unpredictable perturbations might quantify trunk impairment and may become an important tool in the development of an evidence-based classification system for cross-country sit-skiers.