The Difference Between Genders in Ground Reaction Forces During the Back Handspring

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Student Presentation

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Jeffrey Eggleston


Research examining ground reaction forces (nGRF) in gymnastics is limited, more specifically on the back handspring; with even less comparisons of nGRFs between genders. The purpose of this study was to examine the nGRF during the back hand spring between genders. It was hypothesized that nGRFs would not be significantly different between genders (Breen & Hanlon, 2009). Data were collected by an eight camera Vicon Nexus system (120 Hz) and two in-ground AMTI force plates (2,400 Hz). Kinematic (joint angles) and kinetic (nGRFs) data were collected on two subjects (male n =1; female n =1) while performing a back handspring. Subjects each performed five trials. An independent T-test revealed statistically significant differences (p<0.05) in peak nGRF during the back handspring between genders. No literature was found covering the peak nGRF in persons performing the back hand spring. From literature lower extremity nGRF it was hypothesized that there would be no difference. Our findings do not support our hypothesis. Subjects used different techniques to complete the movement, as it was not controlled for, thus, our findings suggests that varying techniques may result in greater force generated on subject. Also, examining the nGRF between genders may help further the understanding of injury risks from this movement. This also leads to improved training methods based on anatomical differences and reduce injury risks (Ryan & Ivey, 2004).


Breen, S., & Hanlon, M. (2009). A comparison of variability in ground reaction force and knee angle patterns between male and female athletes. In ISBS-Conference Proceedings Archive(Vol. 1, No. 1).

Ryan, A. S., Ivey, F. M., Hurlbut, D. E., Martel, G. F., Lemmer, J. T., Sorkin, J. D., Metter, E. J., ... Hurley, B. F. (February 01, 2004). Regional bone mineral density after resistive training in young and older men and women. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 14, 1, 16-23.

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