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Article Title

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CENTER OF MASS HEIGHT AND CUTTING ANGLE DURING PLANNED AND REACTIVE SIDE-STEP CUTTING

Abstract

K. DeRosia, C.M.S. Mulligan, S.T. Johnson, & M.F. Norcross

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

In many sports, quickly changing direction is crucial. While lower center of mass (COM) height is associated with faster changes of direction in planned cutting, its relationship to cutting angle during planned and reactive cuts may also be important for performance. PURPOSE: To determine the relationship between COM height during the penultimate and final steps and cutting angle during planned and reactive side-step cuts. METHODS: Thirty-six females (Age: 20.9 ± 1.7 years, Height: 1.66 ± 0.07 m, Mass: 62.4 ± 8.7 kg) completed 5 planned and 5 reactive (i.e., in response to a light stimulus) 90° side-step cuts off their dominant limb. COM height and cutting angle were assessed using an optical motion capture system interfaced with two force plates. COM height for each step was defined as the vertical position of the COM at initial contact (IC) and normalized to body height. Cutting angle was quantified through the X and Y displacements of the sacrum between IC and toe-off of the final step. IC and toe-off were defined as the instant the vertical ground reaction force exceeded and went below 10 N, respectively. The relationships between average COM height and cutting angle of the 5 trials were assessed using Pearson correlations (α = 0.05). RESULTS: The mean cutting angles in planned and reactive conditions were 62.7 ± 6.7° and 52.0 ± 11.9°, respectively. Lower COM height during the final step was associated with a sharper cutting angle in both conditions. No relationship between COM height and cutting angle was identified during the penultimate step (Table 1). CONCLUSION: Lowering the COM during the final step, but not the penultimate step is associated with sharper cuts. Teaching athletes to lower their COM during the final step of cuts may enhance their performance.

Supported by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation

Table 1.docx (12 kB)
Table 1

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