Kinematic characteristics of the long jump approach run in paralympic-level male limb-deficients
The purpose of this study was to define the variables typifying the long jump approach run phase in paralympic-level male amputees. The sample comprised of the eleven (4 transtibial, 5 transfemoral and 2 single below-the-knee amputees). The parameters analysed were: official distance, toe-to-board distance, effective distance, stride contact time, stride flight time, total stride time, stride length, stride frequency, stride velocity, horizontal velocity, vertical velocity, resultant velocity, height of body center of mass, take-off stride angle, relative differences in stride length and relative differences in stride frequency. The findings of the study revealed that 77.8% of the para-athletes perform the take-off with the leg supported by the prosthesis. Horizontal velocity during the last three strides before take-off has been shown to have a high correlation with the official jump distance: 3rd last (r=0.65, p<0.05), 2nd last (r=0.69, p<0.05) and last (r=0.67, p<0.05) strides. Stride length and stride frequency patterns for the 3rd, 2nd and last strides were as follows: medium-long-short and high-low-high. Horizontal velocity at the last stride is higher compared to the preceding two. The findings of the study support the notion that a wide range of similarities exist in the running patterns and factors correlating with jumping distance between Paralympic amputee athletes and able-bodied high-level athletes.