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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 March;55(3):185-90

lingua: Inglese

Effect of paddle grip on segmental fluid distribution and injuries occurrence in elite slalom paddlers

Baláš J. 1, Bílý M. 1, Coufalová K. 1, Martin A. J. 2, Cochrane D. J. 2

1 Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic;
2 School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand


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AIM: The aim of this current study was to assess the segmental fluid distribution, grip strength and injury occurrence in elite slalom kayakers and canoeists.
METHODS: Ninety three world-cup competitors (72 males; 21 females) took part in the study. Impedance analysis assessed segmental fluid asymmetry and a questionnaire evaluated injury occurrence during the three previous years. The effect of paddle grip (loose/fixed hand in kayakers, lower/upper hand in canoeists), morphological dominance (dominant/non-dominant) and discipline (canoe/kayak) was evaluated by repeated measures ANOVA.
RESULTS: The findings indicated a significant effect of paddle grip in male canoeists on morphological asymmetry in the upper limbs (arm of lower paddle hand, mean fluid distribution 3.17, s=0.47 litres; arm of upper paddle hand mean fluid distribution 3.08, s=0.45 litres; P<0.001, ωp2=0.32). Significant morphological asymmetry was found also in kayakers but the effect of paddle grip was not substantial. Grip strength was not related to paddle grip. Paddlers with arm morphological asymmetry reported upper limb injury occurrence in 60% of cases, which was 3 times more than in paddlers without arm morphological asymmetry.
CONCLUSION: As upper-limb asymmetry was directly associated with paddle grip in male canoeists, canoe paddling may lead to higher bilateral morphological asymmetry and therefore, injury occurrence.

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balas@ftvs.cuni.cz