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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 December;56(12):1448-54

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Decreased interlimb differences in female basketball players

Selcuk AKPINAR

Department of Physical Education and Sport Education, Faculty of Education, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University, Nevşehir, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Hand preference can be influenced by some factors like sensory information and sports participation. In many sports, it is always desirable to have the similar performance of both hands to adapt to the fast changes of the game. Elite basketball players use their left non-dominant hand more accurately and more frequently during the game compared to amateurs. However, there is no quantitative data to explain this phenomenon. The aim of the study was to test whether participation of long-term basketball training influences interlimb difference and also observed more accurate and more frequent usage of the non-dominant hand in basketball players that can be explained by some kinematic variables during an aiming task.
METHODS: Professional right-handed female basketball players and age-matched non-athletes were asked to reach one of three targets in a virtual reality environment setup with either their non-dominant or dominant hand. Two kinematic parameters depicting motor performance asymmetries were measured: accuracy and hand path deviation from linearity (HPDL).
RESULTS: No interlimb differences for basketball players but significant asymmetrical performance for non-athletes were observed. Although the aiming task used in this study is not a basketball specific task, basketball players still displayed better performance compared to non-athletes in both accuracy and HPDL.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study implies that not only sensorimotor information but also participation of long-term sports activity can modify interlimb difference. Moreover, basketball players having symmetrical motor performance of both hands, which was found in this study, can indirectly explain the more frequent usage of the non-dominant left hand in basketball players.


KEY WORDS: Basketball - Motor skills - Biomechanical phenomena – Athletes

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