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Yam, J.-W., Pan, J.-W., & Kong, P.-W. (2021). Measuring upper limb kinematics of forehand and backhand topspin drives with IMU sensors in wheelchair and able-bodied table tennis players. Sensors, 21(24), Article 8303. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21248303
To better understand the biomechanics of para-table tennis players, this study compared the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joint kinematics among able-bodied (AB) and wheelchair players in different classifications. Nineteen participants (AB, n = 9; classification 1 (C1), n = 3; C2, n = 3; C3, n = 4) executed 10 forehand and backhand topspin drives. Shoulder abduction/adduction, elbow flexion/extension, wrist extension/flexion, respective range of motion (ROM), and joint patterns were obtained using inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors. The results showed clear differences in upper limb kinematics between the able-bodied and wheelchair players, especially in the elbow and wrist. For the para-players, noticeable variations in techniques were also observed among the different disability classes. In conclusion, wheelchair players likely adopted distinct movement strategies compared to AB to compensate for their physical impairments and functional limitations. Hence, traditional table tennis programs targeting skills and techniques for able-bodied players are unsuitable for para-players. Future work can investigate how best to customize training programs and to optimize movement strategies for para-players with varied types and degrees of impairment.
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