Annals of Applied Sport Science

Comparison of Plantar Dynamics during Four Sports Gestures in Rugby Players

Margareth Lorena Alfonso Mora, Catalina Rey Rojas, Luis Manuel Herrera Yallonardo

Universidad de La Sabana Campus puente del común Chía, Colombia


Plantar Dynamics, RugbACy Union, Sports Gestures, Postural Control


Background. Four of the most relevant gestures in rugby (RU) are the pass, the tackle, the line out, and the scrum. RU is the third most common contact sport on the planet, and being a fast-paced collision game and carries a high risk of injury. Objectives. To describe and compare plantar dynamics during four sports gestures in rugby players through speed, strength, and balance. Methods. Twenty-five male RU players were included who repeated four gestures three times using Moticon’s OpenGo sensor templates to assess seeding dynamics throughout the gestures. The data was stored in Microsoft Excel. An average of three gestures was calculated and used for statistical exploration using Wilcoxon and Friedman. Results. The four gestures’ highest mean total force (MTF) was on the left foot. On the right foot, the center of pressure (COP) tended to travel faster, and the COP stroke length was primarily larger on this foot. The line-out has generally been the gesture in which the foot had the greatest MTF, and the tackle and scrum were the gestures in which the COP moved the fastest and with the longest stroke length. Conclusion. The line out, in general, was the gesture in which the foot had the highest MTF. This pressure was predominantly concentrated in the posterior and medial parts of the left foot, and the tackle and the pass were the gestures in which the COP traveled with more velocity and with a longer trace length, especially in the right foot.

Moticon's Summary

This study investigated plantar dynamics in four common types of actions in Rugby, namely passes, tackles, line outs and scrums. Here the aim was to gain a better understanding of the biomechanics of these four actions to for example gain insights regarding injury mechanics. Moticon sensor insoles were used to derive total force, COP displacement, COP velocity and COP trace length. 25 male amateur rugby players with a dominant right leg were included in this study. For testing participants were instructed to perform each playing action three times. The authors found considerable asymmetries in COP values as well as total force during all examined actions. Further total force was found to be higher in the non-dominant leg.

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