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Shoulder joint loading in the high performance flat and kick tennis serves


Objective: To quantify and compare the full body kinematics and shoulder joint kinetics during the high-performance tennis flat (FS) and kick serves (KS).

Methods: A 12-camera 250 Hz, Vicon motion analysis system recorded the three-dimensional FS and KS of 12 high-performance male players. A total of 22 paired Student’s t tests, with an accompanying partial Bonferroni correction (p<0.01), determined statistically significant differences between the variables of interest in both serves.

Results: Higher peak horizontal, vertical and absolute racquet velocities were developed during the FS, while higher lateral velocities characterised the KS. Similar shoulder joint kinematics and kinetics punctuated both serves, but with some variation in trunk and lower limb mechanics.

Conclusions: Similar shoulder joint kinetics assisted the development of varying three-dimensional racquet velocities in the FS and KS. The comparable shoulder joint loading conditions point to the repetitive, long-term performance of either serve as relevant in shoulder joint injury pathologies.

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