Comparison of Lower Limb Segments Kinematics in a Taekwondo Kick. An Approach to the Proximal to Distal Motion.

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In taekwondo, there is a lack of consensus about how the kick sequence occurs. The aim of this study was to analyse the peak velocity (resultant and value in each plane) of lower limb segments (thigh, shank and foot), and the time to reach this peak velocity in the kicking lower limb during the execution of the roundhouse kick technique. Ten experienced taekwondo athletes (five males and five females; mean age of 25.3 ±5.1 years; mean experience of 12.9 ±5.3 years) participated voluntarily in this study performing consecutive kicking trials to a target located at their sternum height. Measurements for the kinematic analysis were performed using two 3D force plates and an eight camera motion capture system. The results showed that the proximal segment reached a lower peak velocity (resultant and in each plane) than distal segments (except the peak velocity in the frontal plane where the thigh and shank presented similar values), with the distal segment taking the longest to reach this peak velocity (p < 0.01). Also, at the instant every segment reached the peak velocity, the velocity of the distal segment was higher than the proximal one (p < 0.01). It provides evidence about the sequential movement of the kicking lower limb segments. In conclusion, during the roundhouse kick in taekwondo inter-segment motion seems to be based on a proximo-distal pattern.