Poster Title

Force: The Effects of Impact

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

61

KY Senate District #

23

Abstract

Stress fractures and back pain are common for gymnasts due to the impact of landing. When a gymnast performs a back tuck, the vertical impact force experienced during landings can be very high and is a major cause of injuries. Landing forces can range from 3.9 to 14.4 times the gymnast's body weight (Panzer, 1987; McNitt Gray, 1993). How much impact force affects the body during a back tuck, and can shoe inserts reduce the amount of impact force?

Two portable force plates were secured on a gym floor, surrounded with mats, and covered with a thin mat to provide cushion. Forty gymnasts performed back tucks onto the force plates, and the results were transmitted to a computer using PASCO software for data collection and analysis. Each gymnasts performed the back tucks in four ways: barefoot, wearing athletic shoes, inserting low-impact cushioned insoles, and inserting high-impact performance insoles. A total of 160 impact events were used for analysis. Results from this study revealed that vertical impact force can be reduced with shoe insoles. By understanding repetitive impact force, gymnasts will be able to reduce the stress and strain that affect their bodies.

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Force: The Effects of Impact

Stress fractures and back pain are common for gymnasts due to the impact of landing. When a gymnast performs a back tuck, the vertical impact force experienced during landings can be very high and is a major cause of injuries. Landing forces can range from 3.9 to 14.4 times the gymnast's body weight (Panzer, 1987; McNitt Gray, 1993). How much impact force affects the body during a back tuck, and can shoe inserts reduce the amount of impact force?

Two portable force plates were secured on a gym floor, surrounded with mats, and covered with a thin mat to provide cushion. Forty gymnasts performed back tucks onto the force plates, and the results were transmitted to a computer using PASCO software for data collection and analysis. Each gymnasts performed the back tucks in four ways: barefoot, wearing athletic shoes, inserting low-impact cushioned insoles, and inserting high-impact performance insoles. A total of 160 impact events were used for analysis. Results from this study revealed that vertical impact force can be reduced with shoe insoles. By understanding repetitive impact force, gymnasts will be able to reduce the stress and strain that affect their bodies.