A biomechanical and physiological investigation of atypical gaits used in badminton
thesisposted on 23.02.2011 by Gregor Kuntze
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
This thesis is concerned with quantifying the biomechanics and physiological consequences of sport-specific movements in order to answer the question if atypical movements in badminton result in abnormally large demands that could be linked to the relatively high levels of injuries sustained. An initial study of the movement repertoire used in competitive badminton established that sidestepping (SS), crossover stepping (XS) and lunging movements make an important contribution to the game. These movements are related, within the context of the game, and were viewed as a unit. In order to assess the potential injury risk posed by these atypical movements a series of experiments was performed to record the biomechanical as well as physiological demands of SS, XS and lunging for experienced, inexperienced, male and female badminton players. The first of these studies concerned the kinematics and kinetics of preferred speed SS and XS. This was followed up by an investigation of the electrical activity of 7 muscles of the leading and trailing limb and a comparative assessment of their metabolic demands was performed. The biomechanics of lunging were thereafter investigated, followed by a final investigation of the kinematics of atypical movement use in the competitive setting. The results from these investigations indicate that lateral stepping tasks result in biomechanical demands that are within the range expected for running. An asymmetric contribution of the leading and trailing limb to the gait cycle was identified as well as a shift toward the use of proximal joints for force production. Furthermore, no significant difference in metabolic power between SS, XS and running was identified. Differences in the demands of different lunging movements were observed with implications for both injury prevention and performance enhancement. Overall it was observed that the data recorded in these investigations was in agreement with the competitive, real-life application. Based on the findings in this research it can be concluded that lateral stepping movements in badminton do not appear to expose the participant to abnormally large biomechanical or physiological demands and other factors related to movement may be involved in the relatively high levels of injury sustained.