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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 April;59(4):593-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08014-3

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Expertise level influences postural balance control in young gymnasts

Giuseppe MARCOLIN 1, Alex RIZZATO 1 , Jessica ZUANON 2, Gerardo BOSCO 1, Antonio PAOLI 1

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 2 Human Movement Sciences School, University of Padua, Padua, Italy



BACKGROUND: The specificity of postural balance control in sports as gymnastic where complex motor skills are involved is widely debated in the literature. The aim of this study was to investigate in young gymnasts whether the amount of training influenced postural balance control in a simple-task and in a sport-specific task.
METHODS: Seven female basic-level gymnasts (BLG) and eight female advanced-level gymnasts (ALG) performed two tests on a dynamometric platform: bipedal standing (B) and single-leg back scale (BS) before and after a combination of two gymnastic elements (rondade + flic-flac).
RESULTS: BLG showed a better postural balance control in the B position while ALG in the BS position. All parameters referred to the Centre of pressure (COP) increased after the execution of the rondade + flic-flac in both ALG and BLG. ALG showed in BS a better performance on balance time-dependent response after the rondade + flic-flac.
CONCLUSIONS: Results underlined how expertise level did not affect postural balance control during the simple task (B). Conversely, the sport specific task (BS) revealed to be more selective in representing the young gymnasts’ level of expertise. Thus, the application of sport-specific tasks is recommended among coaches and practitioners to increase balance assessment selectivity.


KEY WORDS: Postural balance - Gymnastics - Athletic performance

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