2018, Volume 14
Wearing ballistic and weighted vests increases front kick forces
Michal Vagner1, Dan Thiel1, Karel Jelen2, Lubos Tomsovsky2, Petr Kubovy2, James J. Tufano3
1Department of Military Physical Education, Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Prague, Czech Republic
2Department of Anatomy and Biomechanics, Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Prague, Czech Republic
3Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Prague, Czech Republic
Author for correspondence: Michal Vagner; Department of Military Physical Education, Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Prague, Czech Republic; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Front kicks are often used in hand-to-hand military combat training. To mimic real-life combative environments, personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes a ballistic vest should be worn during training. The aim of this study was the effects of ballistic and weighted vests on front kick kinetics.
Material and Methods: Five male soldiers (22.2 ±1.5 y, 78.8 ±5.8 kg, 180.6 ±4.8 cm) performed six individual front kicks during three conditions: bodyweight with no vest (NV), with a 12 kg ballistic vest (BV), and with a 12 kg weighted vest (WV). Peak force (N), time to reach peak force (s), and impact force (N) were measured during each kick. Data were analyzed using paired sample t-tests and Cohen’s d.
Results: Peak force of BV 6061 ±1176 N and WV 6298 ±1355 N was greater than NV 5201 ±1176 N (p<0.01; d = 0.7 and 0.9, respectively). Time to reach peak force was longer for BV 14.25 ±4.24 ms compared to WV 13.00 ±3.96 ms (p<0.01; d = 0.3), but neither were different than NV 14.02 ±6.71 ms (p = 0.822, p = 0.330, respectively). Impact force was greater for WV 3833 ±790 N and BV 3761 ±930 N compared to NV 3405 ±62 N (p<0.01; d = 0.4 and 0.6, respectively).
Conclusions: As both vests result in similar kinetics, soldiers can use a WV or BV during hand-to-hand combat training to adapt to greater front kick impact forces that likely occur during combat.
Key words: Hand-to-hand combat, military, personal protective equipment, biomechanics