The control of twisting somersaults

2014-05-15T14:37:52Z (GMT) by Fred Yeadon Michael Hiley
In the takeoff and early flight phase of a twisting somersault, joint coordination is based on feed-forward control whereas in the late stages of the flight phase configuration adjustments are made using feedback control to ensure accurate completion of the movement and appropriate landing orientation. The aim of this study was to use a computer simulation model of aerial movement to investigate the extent to which arm and hip movements can control twist and somersault rotation in the flight phase of a twisting somersault. Two mechanisms were considered for the control of twist in simulated target trampoline movements with flight times of 1.4. s. In the first case a single symmetrical arm adduction correction was made using delayed feedback control based on the difference between the twist rate in a perturbed simulation and the twist rate in a target movement comprising a forward somersault with 11/2 twists. Final corrections were made using symmetrical arm abduction and hip flexion to adjust the twist and somersault angles. In the second case continual asymmetrical arm adduction/abduction adjustments were used to remove the tilt from a perturbed full twisting backward somersault using delayed feedback control based on twist angle and angular velocity. The first method was able to cope with perturbations to a forward somersault with 11/2 twists providing the feedback time delay was less than 200. ms. The second method was able to correct a perturbed full twisting backward somersault providing the feedback time delay was less than 125. ms. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.