Differences in Limb and Joint Stiffness during the Fencing Lunge
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The aim of the current investigation was to examine gender differences in limb and joint stiffness characteristics during the fencing lunge. Ten male and ten female fencers completed simulated lunge movements. Lower limb kinematics were collected using an eight camera optoelectric motion capture system which operated at 250 Hz. Measures of limb and joint stiffness were calculated as a function of limb length and joint moments divided by the extent of limb and joint excursion. Gender differences in limb joint stiffness parameters were examined statistically using independent samples t-tests. The results showed firstly that both limb (male = 64.22 ±19.12, female = 75.09 ±22.15 N.kg.m) and hip stiffness (male = 10.50 ±6.00, female = 25.89 ±15.01 Nm.kg.rad) were significantly greater in female fencers. In addition it was also demonstrated that knee moment (male = 1.64 ±0.23, female = 2.00 ±0.75 Nm.kg) was significantly larger in females. On the basis of these observations, the findings from the current investigation may provide further insight into the aetiology of the distinct injury patterns observed between genders in relation to fencing.
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