Validation of an Accelerometer for Measuring Sport Performance

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Sato, K, Smith, SL and Sands, WA. Validation of an accelerometer for measuring sport performance. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 341-347, 2009-Weightlifting technique is a well-studied subject with regard to standard biomechanical analysis that includes barbell velocity as well as barbell trajectory, but kinematic data such as barbell acceleration have not often been reported. Real-time or near-real-time feedback can be more helpful to coaches and athletes than delayed feedback. The purpose of this study was to validate measures obtained by a commercially available accelerometer in comparison with kinematic data derived from video. The hypothesis was that there would be a high positive relationship between accelerometer data and acceleration measures derived from video records of a barbell high-pull movement. Accelerometer values and kinematic data from high-speed video were obtained from 7 volunteers performing 2 trials each of a barbell high-pull. The results showed that the accelerometer measures were highly correlated with derived acceleration data from video (r = 0.94-0.99). On the basis of these results, the device was considered to be validated; thus, the unit may be a useful tool to measure acceleration during real-time training sessions rather than only reserved for collecting data in a laboratory setting. This device can be a valuable tool to provide instant feedback to coaches and athletes to assess individual barbell acceleration performance.

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