Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Electromyographic Activation Patterns during Handball Throwing By Experts and Novices

Electromyographic Activation Patterns during Handball Throwing By Experts and Novices

Knowledge of the electromyographic (EMG) activation pattern during an athletic movement, as well as its difference between experts and novices, are helpful in providing appropriate technical instructions, strength training, and injury prevention protocols. This study aimed to compare the timing and intensity EMG activation pattern of experts and novices during the handball standing throw. Surface EMG recordings were taken for the trapezius, pectoralis major, triceps brachii, and biceps brachii muscles. In synchronization with EMG recordings, trials were video recorded to determine the timing of the throwing phases (tcocking, tacceleration, tfollow through). The throw with the greater ball velocity was selected for further analysis. The significance of group differences was examined with t-tests for independent samples. ANOVAs, for repeated measures, were applied for the differences among muscles and across throwing phases. The level of significance was set at p ≤ 0.05 for all analyses (SPSS version 21.0). The ball throwing velocity and throwing accuracy were significantly better in experts than novices (p ≤ 0.05). No significant group difference was found for the timing of throwing phases and the timing EMG activation (p>0.05). The experts showed increased intensity of EMG activation for the trapezius and the pectoralis major muscles during tcocking, with the group difference being reversed during tacceleration (p ≤ 0.05). The group invariance in the timing pattern of throwing phases and EMG activation possibly suggests that the throwing pattern is acquired early in the learning process. The differences in the intensity pattern of EMG activation probably highlight the insufficiency of the novices to optimally store elastic energy during tcocking. Thus, from the early stages of training, care should be focused on the achievement of an optimal tcocking.

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