Load- and skill-related changes in segmental contributions to a weightlifting movement


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Abstract

ENOKA, R. M. Load- and skill-related changes in segmental contributions to a weightlifting movement. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 178–187, 1988. An exemplary short duration, high- power, weightlifting event was examined to determine whether the ability to lift heavier loads and whether variations in the level of skill were accompanied by quantitative changes in selected aspects of lower extremity joint power-time histories. Six experienced weight- lifters, three skilled and three less skilled, performed the double-knee- bend execution of the pull in Olympic weightlifting, a movement which lasted almost 1 s. Analysis-of-variance statistics were performed on selected peak and average values of power generated by the three skilled subjects as they lifted three loads (69, 77, and 86% of their competition maximum). The results indicated that the skilled subjects lifted heavier loads by increasing the average power, but not the peak power, about the knee and ankle joints. In addition, the changes with load were more subtle than a mere quantitative scaling and also seemed to be associated with a skill element in the form of variation in the duration of the phases of power production and absorption. Similarly, statistical differences (independent t-test) due to skill did not involve changes in the magnitude of power but rather the temporal organization of the movement. Thus, the ability to successfully execute the double-knee-bend movement depends on an athlete's ability to both generate a sufficient magnitude of joint power and to organize the phases of power production and absorption into an appropriate temporal sequence.

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