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Open Access Gender differences in the preparation for take-off in elite long jumpers

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Background: Research on gender differences of elite long jumpers in competition, although limited, provides useful information concerning the execution of the technique elements of the event. Objective: The purpose of the study was to explore possible gender differences of the spatiotemporal parameters and their development during the final steps of the approach executed by elite jumpers during a major international competition. Methods: The jumpers competed in the 2009 International Amateur Athletics Federation World Athletics Final (7 males and 7 females; official distance: 7.83 ± 0.22 m and 6.58 ± 0.20 m, respectively) were recorded with a panning digital video-camera (sampling frequency: 210 fps, resolution: 480 × 366 pixels). The APAS v13.2.5 software was used for the kinematical analysis. Differences between groups concerning performance, the touchdown on the board and the take-off parameters were examined using the Mann-Whitney U test. Possible gender differences concerning the modulation of the examined parameters during the final three steps of the approach were compared by 2 × 3 (gender × step) ANOVA. Results: Male long jumpers executed the final steps of the approach and the take-off with greater velocity (p = .001) compared to the female athletes. Gender differences (p = .04) were also revealed for the flight to contact time ratio of the penultimate step. Additionally, no gender differences were observed for the majority of the temporal parameters. Nevertheless, female jumpers seemed to significantly differentiate in step length, step frequency and step velocity only at the last step of their approach compared to the previous two steps. Conclusion: When examining gender differences in long jump biomechanics the defining parameter is the penultimate step, where it is suggested for female jumpers to improve the transition from the sprinting gait to the preparation for the take-off.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; 2: School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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