BIOMECHANICAL ANALYSIS OF WOMEN WEIGHTLIFTERS DURING THE SNATCH

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The majority of the research to date on weightlifting has focused on men competitors. This study attempted to bridge the sex-based gap evident in the scientific literature. The performances of 10 women weightlifters competing in the 1999 United States national championships were analyzed. The performance of the athletes competing in the 69-kg class was recorded and analyzed using a Peak5 2D Motion Analysis system. The purpose of this study was 3-fold: (a) analyze the horizontal bar displacement of women weightlifters, (b) analyze key kinematic variables related to performance, and (c) compare the power outputs of the first, second, and total pulls in the snatch. Less than half (> 50%) of the snatch attempts demonstrated by the women weightlifters in this study displayed the optimal toward-away-toward horizontal bar trajectory reported elsewhere. The women in this study demonstrated greater drop displacement and drop under times than those previously reported for men weightlifters. They also demonstrated lesser maximal vertically velocities of the barbell than those reported for world class women weightlifters. These women weightlifters demonstrated statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) during each phase of the snatch, and total power output values were comparable to values previously reported. The results of this study suggest that women demonstrate performance characteristics that differ subtly from those reported in men weightlifters. Knowledge of performance measures during the snatch may help coaches and athletes more fully refine the training leading to competition.

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