Kinematic analysis of postural control in gymnasts vs. athletes practicing different sports

Bessem Mkaouer*, Monèm Jemni, Sarra Hammoudi-Nassib, Samiha Amara, Helmi Chaabene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the postural control difference between gymnasts and other athletes practicing different sports. Methods: Twenty-eight elite-level male athletes (7 gymnasts, 7 volleyball players, 7 windsurfers, and 7 monofin swimmers) participated in this study. Two-dimensional kinematic analysis of mediolateral and anteroposterior sway velocity of the center of mass (COM) on single plane balance board in bipedal and unipedal conditions, and on hard and foam surfaces was performed using two cameras (Sony, DCR-PC108E, 50 Hz). Data were digitized using the video-based data analysis system SkillSpector. Results: Findings showed significant between groups differences regardless of the postural stance i.e., unipedal or bipedal (d = 1.76–6.82, p < 0.01). In this regards, windsurfers presented the best postural performance in terms of sway velocity of the COM followed by gymnasts, volleyball players, and monofin swimmers. Furthermore, regardless of the postural stance, significant differences between surfaces (d = 0.61–1.03, p < 0.05) were established. In this context, COM’s sway velocity was higher for hard compared with foam surfaces for all disciplines (d = 0.75–0.66, p < 0.05) except monofin swimmers who presented higher COM’s sway velocity in foam compared to hard surfaces. Further, in the anteroposterior stance, windsurfers and gymnasts showed significantly lower floor contacts number compared with the other groups (d = 1.76–2.39, p < 0.01). However, volleyball players and monofin swimmers showed comparable postural performance in the mediolateral plane. Conclusions: The windsurfers presented the best postural control followed by gymnasts, volleyball players, and monofin swimmers irrespective of the surface’s nature (i.e., hard or foam) and postural stance (i.e., bipedal or unipedal). Therefore, it is recommended to incorporate windsurfing practice to promote postural control of gymnastic athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-581
Number of pages9
JournalSport Sciences for Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Body sway
  • Gymnasts
  • Kinematics
  • Monofin swimmers
  • Volleyball players
  • Windsurfers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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