Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Angus Burnett

Second Advisor

Professor Ross Sanders

Abstract

While there has been much research published on the kinematics and kinetics of forward dives from a springboard, very little has been done on the effect the timing and magnitude of hip flexion torques has on forward dives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the timing and magnitude of hip flexion torques prior to the take-off and the vertical velocity at take-off in high demand rotational forward dives. Twenty-six elite divers (14 males and 12 females) competing in the United Kingdom leg of the 2001 FINA Diving Grand Prix performed high demand rotational dives. The males performed a forward three and one-half somersault dive in the pike position (107B) whilst the females performed a forward two and one-half somersault dive in the pike position (105B) off the 3m springboard. A video camera operating at 60Hz recorded all dives in the preliminaries and finals. Video footage was digitised from the 10 frames preceding touchdown from the hurdle to 10 frames following take-off to yield vertical and horizontal velocity and angular displacement data. Furthermore, the hip joint torque was calculated via a six segment 'top-down' model. An independent sample t-test was used to determine whether there were any significant differences between the two gender groups for selected variables whilst a Pearson's Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was calculated for both the male and female divers to establish whether the timing and magnitude of the peak hip flexion torque had an influence on vertical velocity at last contact and dive score. Results showed that the male divers produced significantly (p<0.05) greater normalised peak hip flexion torque (p=0.000) later in the take-off sequence (p=0.000) than the female divers. The male and female divers both exhibited significant relationships between the normalised peak hip flexion torque and the timing of normalised peak hip flexion torque in relation to last contact (r = -0.461 and 0.543 respectively). The male divers showed a significant relationship between the normalised time of peak hip flexion torque and dive score (r = -0.542). The male and female divers also exhibited significant relationships between the dive score awarded and vertical velocity at last contact (r = 0.476 and 0.748 respectively). From the findings of this study it can be seen that the timing and magnitude, of peak hip flexion torque did not have a direct influence on vertical velocity. There were however, other statistically significant results obtained. The timing and magnitude of the normalised peak hip flexion torque were significantly related to each other.

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