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Sports 2016, 4(3), 37;

America’s Cup Sailing: Effect of Standing Arm-Cranking (“Grinding”) Direction on Muscle Activity, Kinematics, and Torque Application

Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Science, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1020, New Zealand
Queensland Academy of Sport, QLD Sport & Athletics Centre, Kessels Rd, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia
High Performance Sport New Zealand, PO Box 302 563, North Shore 0751, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eling Douwe de Bruin
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 27 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boat-Based Sports Biomechanics)
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Grinding is a key physical element in America’s Cup sailing. This study aimed to describe kinematics and muscle activation patterns in relation to torque applied in forward and backward grinding. Ten male America’s Cup sailors (33.6 ± 5.7 years, 97.9 ± 13.4 kg, 186.6 ± 7.4 cm) completed forward and backward grinding on a customised grinding ergometer. In forward grinding peak torque (77 Nm) occurred at 95° (0° = crank vertically up) on the downward section of the rotation at the end of shoulder flexion and elbow extension. Backward grinding torque peaked at 35° (69 Nm) following the pull action (shoulder extension, elbow flexion) across the top of the rotation. During forward grinding, relatively high levels of torque (>50 Nm) were maintained through the majority (72%) of the cycle, compared to 47% for backward grinding, with sections of low torque corresponding with low numbers of active muscles. Variation in torque was negatively associated with forward grinding performance (r = −0.60; 90% CI −0.88 to −0.02), but positively associated with backward performance (r = 0.48; CI = −0.15 to 0.83). Magnitude and distribution of torque generation differed according to grinding direction and presents an argument for divergent training methods to improve forward and backward grinding performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: yachting; biomechanics; movement analysis; performance yachting; biomechanics; movement analysis; performance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pearson, S.N.; Hume, P.A.; Cronin, J.; Slyfield, D. America’s Cup Sailing: Effect of Standing Arm-Cranking (“Grinding”) Direction on Muscle Activity, Kinematics, and Torque Application. Sports 2016, 4, 37.

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