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An EMG assessment of Front Row Rugby Union Scrummaging

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The rugby union scrum comprises of two distinct phases; the engagement and second shove. The engagement phase is achieved through the interlocking of opposition forward packs through front row players of each team. The current study analysed professional and amateur front row forwards for horizontal force production. EMG patterns and muscular activation were compared between groups during two distinct time points of the engagement phase, pre engagement to first contact and first contact to maximum horizontal force to determine their effects, if any on horizontal force production. Isokinetic strength data was collected from all players to investigate any relationship this had to horizontal force production during the engagement phase. Body mass was found to be significantly different between playing groups. Maximum horizontal force during the engagement phase was significantly different between groups, with professional players generating more than both amateur groups. EMG analysis presented no significant differences between groups for muscular activation patterns. Peak muscular activation for all recorded muscles was achieved prior to first contact. A significant correlation was found between muscular activation and max horizontal force for professional players only. Junior players were found to have a significant negative correlation between isokinetic strength and max horizontal force production.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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