2020, Volume 16
Movement patterns and sensori-motor responses: comparison of men and women in wheelchair fencing based on the Polish Paralympic team
Zbigniew Borysiuk1, Tadeusz Nowicki2, Katarzyna Piechota1, Monika Błaszczyszyn1, Mariusz Konieczny1, Mateusz Witkowski3
1Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego i Fizjoterapii, Politechnika Opolska, Opole, Poland
2Integracyjny Klub Szermierczy przy AWF Warszawa, Warszawa, Poland
3Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, Poznań, Poland
Author for correspondence: Zbigniew Borysiuk; Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego i Fizjoterapii, Politechnika Opolska, Opole, Poland; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Wheelchair fencing is defined as a psychomotor sport in which coordination predispositions (reaction speed, movements speed, kinesthetic sensation, and focus of attention) have to go hand in hand with strength and explosiveness in the exercise capacity. The aim of the study was knowledge about the movement patterns among women and men in wheelchair fencing with a particular emphasis on postural muscles.
Material and Methods: The research involved 16 subjects, members of the Olympic team of fencers in wheelchairs (8 women and 8 men). The group of fencers represents international level because they are medal-winners and champions of the Paralympic Games. The task of the subjects was to perform a lunge on the coach’s torso at the command given by the coach. Two research alternatives were investigated: in response to visual signal and sensory stimulation. The order of muscle stimulation was recorded using EMG and the movement pattern of the individual muscle activation was registered by application of an accelerometer. In the study, the electrodes were attached to six muscles: on the forearm (ECR RT, FCR RT) and upper arm (DEL RT, TRI RT and BC RT) as well as on the torso muscles: back (EAO RT and LT, LD RT and LT) and oblique abdominals.
Results: As a result of the study, statistically insignificant decrease of sensor-motor response time was recorded in men in comparison to women. The study, however, demonstrated significant differences in the initial phase of the movement pattern in the group of women and men in relation to the torso muscles, as the investigated women subjects activated extensor muscles, whereas men activated flexors. This demonstrates significant differences in the body posture assumed in the initial phase of the attack. A significantly lower bioelectric signal was recorded in the performance of the task response in response to sensory stimulation in men – TRI RT (triceps brachii) %MVC, p = 0.0005 and LD (latissimus dorsi) RT, p = 0.016.
Conclusions: In the light of the conducted research, it seems necessary to extend the scope of the training process to include postural muscle training with the purpose of strength and explosive power development. The recruitment of additional motor units should promote greater coordination and therefore enhance the speed of movement, both for women and men in wheelchair fencing.
Key words: complex response time, EMG, neuromuscular activity, reaction time, surface electromyography