Effect of the pole--human body interaction on pole vaulting performance

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The purposes of this study were: (a) to examine the interactions between the athlete and the pole and the possibility for the athlete to take advantage of the pole's elasticity by means of muscular work and (b) to develop performance criteria during the interaction between the athlete and the pole in pole vaulting. Six athletes performed 4-11 trials each, at 90% of their respective personal best performance. All trials were recorded using four synchronized, genlocked video cameras operating at 50 Hz. The ground reaction forces exerted on the bottom of the pole were measured using a planting box fixed on a force plate (1000 Hz). The interaction between athlete and pole may be split into two parts. During the first part, energy is transferred into the pole and the total energy of the athlete decreases. The difference between the energy decrease of the athlete and the pole energy is an indicator of the energy produced by the athletes by means of muscular work (criterion 1). During the second part of the interaction, energy is transferred back to the athlete and the total energy of the athlete increases. The difference between the returned pole energy and the amount of energy increase of the athlete defines criterion 2. In general, the function of the pole during the interaction is: (a) store part of the kinetic energy that the athlete achieved during the run up as strain energy and convert this strain energy into potential energy of the athlete, (b) allow the active system (athlete) to produce muscular work to increase the total energy potential.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Volume37
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1353-60
Number of pages8
ISSN0021-9290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2004

ID: 205681

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