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J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):2235-41. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001320.

Physical Characteristics Underpinning Lunging and Change of Direction Speed in Fencing.

Author information

1
1London Sport Institute, Middlesex University, United Kingdom; 2City and Islington College, United Kingdom; 3Applied Sports Technology Exercise and Medicine Research Centre, College of Engineering, Swansea University, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Turner, A, Bishop, C, Chavda, S, Edwards, M, Brazier, J, Kilduff, LP. Physical characteristics underpinning lunging and change of direction speed in fencing. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2235-2241, 2016-Lunge velocity (LV) and change of direction speed (CODS) are considered fundamental to success during fencing competitions; investigating the physical characteristics that underpin these is the aim of this study. Seventy fencers from the British Fencing National Academy took part and on average (±SD) were 16.83 ± 1.72 years of age, 178.13 ± 8.91 cm tall, 68.20 ± 9.64 kg in mass, and had 6.25 ± 2.23 years fencing experience. The relationship between anthropometric characteristics (height, arm span, and adductor flexibility) and measures of lower-body power (bilateral and unilateral countermovement jump height and reactive strength index) were examined in their ability to influence LV and CODS. In testing the former, fencers lunged (over a self-selected distance) to and from a force plate, where front leg impact and rear leg propulsive force were quantified; the lunging distance was divided by time to establish LV. Change of direction speed was measured over 12 m involving shuttles of between 2 and 4 m. Results revealed that LV and CODS averaged at 3.35 m·s and 5.45 seconds, respectively, and in both cases, standing broad jump was the strongest predictor (r = 0.51 and -0.65, respectively) of performance. Rear leg drive and front leg impact force averaged at 14.61 N·kg and 3 times body weight, respectively, with single leg jumps revealing an asymmetry favoring the front leg of 9 ± 8%. In conclusion, fencers should train lower-body power emphasizing horizontal displacement, noting that this seems to offset any advantage one would expect fencers of a taller stature to have. Also, the commonly reported asymmetry between legs is apparent from adolescence and thus also requires some attention.

PMID:
26808849
DOI:
10.1519/JSC.0000000000001320
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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