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Movement Analysis: Back Handspring

3028 words (12 pages) Essay in Physiology

08/02/20 Physiology Reference this

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A back handspring is an acrobatic skill. More specifically, it is a tumbling skill where an individual takes off from two feet, launches backwards onto the hands, and lands back on one’s feet. This skill can be further broken down into five phases. The first phase of a back handspring is the initial standing upright stance, the second phase is the sitting body position, the third phase is the body jumping backwards, the fourth phase is the snap down, and the fifth phase is the final standing upright stance.

The first phase of a back handspring is the initial standing upright stance. An individual is standing upright, feet together, with arms straight by side. For the most part, the body is in a neutral position. Every muscle used in the particular phase is bilaterally the same for the right and left side of the body. Further analyzed, starting with the toes, all five metatarsals of the foot are located in a neutral position. This includes the metatarsophalangeal joints, distal interphalangeal joints, and proximal interphalangeal joint. The toes are held in a neutral position due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: flexor digitorum longus, extensor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and the extensor hallucis longus. The feet are also held in a neutral position at the transverse tarsal and subtalar joints. This is due to the isometric contraction of the following muscles: peroneus longus, peroneus tertius, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, tibialis anterior, and tibialis posterior. The talocrural joint of the leg is held in a neutral position. This is due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: the gastrocnemius, soleus, peroneus tertius, extensor digitorum longus, and tibialis anterior. The knee is held in a neutral position at the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joint. This is due to an isometric contraction of the quadricep muscles (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and the rectus femoris). The hip is held at a neutral position at the acetabular femoral joint. This is due to an isometric contraction of the gluteus maximus and the hamstring muscles (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris). The intervertebral joints, located in the lumbar spine, are held in neutral position. This is due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: internal oblique, external oblique, rectus abdominus, and the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae iliocostalis, erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis). The head is in a neutral position, along with the atlantooccipital joint, the atlantoaxial joint, and the intervertebral joints (C2 through T1) of the cervical spine. This is due to the isometric contraction of the sternocleidomastoid and the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis, and erector spinae iliocostalis). Held in a neutral position due to the external force of gravity is the sternoclavicular joint, the acromioclavicular joint, and the glenohumeral joint. In the elbow, the triceps brachii is concentrically contracted causing the elbow to be completely extended at the humeroulnar joint. Also, in the elbow, the radioulnar joint is in pronation with the following muscles in concentric contraction: brachioradialis, pronator quadratus, and pronator teres. In the wrist, the radiocarpal joint is in a neutral position. The wrist is held in a neutral position due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: abductor longus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor digitorum superficialis, palmaris longus, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor pollicis longus, extensor digiti minimi, extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor digitorum, and extensor indicis. Lastly, the fingers, all five metacarpals of the hand are located in a neutral position. This includes the distal interphalangeal joint, proximal interphalangeal joint, and metacarpophalangeal joint. The fingers are held in this neutral position due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor digitorum, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digiti minimi, and extensor indicis.

The second phase, also representing the preparatory phase of a back handspring, is the sitting position. In this position, an individual is standing with knees bent, chest upright, with arms swinging downward by side. Every muscle used in the particular phase is bilaterally the same for the right and left side of the body. Further analyzed, starting with the toes, all five metatarsals of the foot are located in a neutral position. This includes the metatarsophalangeal joints, distal interphalangeal joints, and proximal interphalangeal joint. The toes are held in a neutral position due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: flexor digitorum longus, extensor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and the extensor hallucis longus. The feet are held in a neutral position at the transverse tarsal and subtalar joints. This is due to the isometric contraction of the following muscles: peroneus longus, peroneus tertius, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, tibialis anterior, and tibialis posterior. The ankle, at the talocrural joint, is in slight plantarflexion. This is due to the contraction of the following muscles: gastrocnemius, soleus, peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and tibialis posterior. The knee is flexed at the tibiofemoral joint and patellofemoral joint. This is due to eccentric contraction of the knee extensor muscles (vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris).  The hip is flexed at the acetabular femoral joint. This is due to the isometric contraction of the hip extensor muscles (gluteus maximus, bicep femoris long head, semitendinosus, semimembranosus). The intervertebral joints, located in the lumbar spine, are held in neutral position. This is due to an isometric contraction of the following: internal oblique, external oblique, rectus abdominus, and the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae iliocostalis, erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis). The head is in a neutral position, along with the atlantooccipital joint, the atlantoaxial joint, and the intervertebral joints (C2 through T1) of the cervical spine. This is due to the isometric contraction of the sternocleidomastoid and the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae iliocostalis, erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis). The shoulder girdle is in abduction, due to the concentric contraction of the following muscles: rhomboid, middle trapezius, and lower trapezius. The shoulder is extended at the glenohumeral joint. This is due to the concentric contraction of the following muscles: teres major, lower pectoralis major, and latissimus dorsi. In the elbow, the humeroulnar joint is completely extended, due to concentric contraction of the triceps brachii. Also, in the elbow, the radioulnar joint is in pronation with the following muscles in concentric contraction: brachioradialis, pronator quadratus, and pronator teres. The radiocarpal joint of the wrist is extended. This is due to a concentric contraction of the following muscles: extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor digitorum, extensor digiti minimi, extensor indicis, extensor pollicis brevis, and extensor pollicis longus. Lastly, the fingers, all five metacarpals of the hand, are located in a neutral position. This includes the distal interphalangeal joint, proximal interphalangeal joint, and metacarpophalangeal joint. The fingers are held in this neutral position due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor digitorum, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digiti minimi, and extensor indicis.

 The third phase of a back handspring is the body jumping backwards. This movement phase is fast. During this phase, an individual’s body moves into extension. This allows for the individual to transfer oneself backwards and rotate.  Every muscle used in the particular phase is bilaterally the same for the right and left side of the body. Further analyzed, starting with the toes, all five metatarsals of the foot are located in a neutral position. This includes the metatarsophalangeal joints, distal interphalangeal joints, and proximal interphalangeal joint. The toes are held in a neutral position due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: flexor digitorum longus, extensor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and the extensor hallucis longus. The right and left feet are held in a neutral position at the transverse tarsal and subtalar joints. This is due to the isometric contraction of the following muscles: peroneus longus, peroneus tertius, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, tibialis anterior, and tibialis posterior. The ankle, at the talocrural joint, is in plantarflexion. This is due to concentric contraction of the following muscles: gastrocnemius, soleus, peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and tibialis posterior. The knee is extended at both the tibiofemoral joint and patellofemoral joint. This is due to a concentric contraction of the quadricep muscles (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, rectus femoris). The hip is extended at the acetabular femoral joint. This is due to concentric contraction of the following muscles: gluteus maximus, and the hamstring muscles (semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and biceps femoris). The intervertebral joints, located in the lumbar spine, are also extended. This is due to concentric contraction of the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis, and erector spinae iliocostalis). The head is extended, along with extension of the atlantooccipital joint, the atlantoaxial joint, and the intervertebral joints (C2-T1) of the cervical spine. This is due to the concentric contraction of the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis, and erector spinae iliocostalis). The acromioclavicular joint and sternoclavicular joint are in abduction. This is due to concentric contraction of the pectoralis minor and serratus anterior. The shoulder is flexed at the glenohumeral joint. This is due to the concentric contraction of the following muscles: pectoralis major (upper fibers), coracobrachialis, and deltoid (anterior fibers). In the elbow, the humeroulnar joint must maintain complete extension, by concentrically contracting the triceps brachii. This must happen to ensure the arms do not bend when coming in contact with the ground. Also, in the elbow, the radioulnar joint is in pronation with the following muscles in concentric contraction: brachioradialis, pronator quadratus, and pronator teres. Initially, the wrist is slightly extended due to momentum but must also maintain extension at the radiocarpal joint when hands come in contact with the ground. Radiocarpal extension is due to the concentric contraction of the following muscles: extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor digitorum, extensor digiti minimi, extensor indicis, extensor pollicis brevis, and the extensor pollicis long. Lastly, the fingers, all five metacarpals in the hands, are located in a neutral position. This includes the distal interphalangeal joint, proximal interphalangeal joint, and metacarpophalangeal joint. The fingers are held in this neutral position due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor digitorum, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digiti minimi, and extensor indicis.

The fourth phase of the back handspring is the snap down. This movement phase is fast. During this phase, an individual’s body is going back into a flexed position. This takes place in order for the individual to return to the final standing position. Every muscle used in the particular phase is bilaterally the same for the right and left side of the body. Further analyzed, starting with the toes, all five metatarsals of the foot are located in a neutral position. This includes the metatarsophalangeal joints, distal interphalangeal joints, and proximal interphalangeal joint. The toes are held in a neutral position due to an isometric contraction of the following: flexor digitorum longus, extensor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and the extensor hallucis longus. The feet are held in a neutral position at the transverse tarsal and subtalar joints. This is due to the isometric contraction of the following muscles: peroneus longus, peroneus tertius, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, tibialis anterior, and tibialis posterior. The ankle at the talocrural joint transitions into dorsiflexion. This is due to the concentric contraction of the peroneus tertius, extensor digitorum longus, and tibialis anterior. The leg is in a neutral position at the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joint. This is due to an isometric contraction of the quadricep muscles (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and the rectus femoris). The intervertebral joints, located in the lumbar spine, move into flexion. This is due to concentric contraction of the following muscles: external oblique, internal oblique, and the rectus abdominis. The hip is flexed at the acetabular femoral joint. This is due to concentric contraction of the hip extensor muscles (gluteus maximus, biceps femoris long head, semitendinosus, semimembranosus). The head moves into flexion, along with flexion of the atlantooccipital joint, the atlantoaxial joint, and the intervertebral joints of (C2-T1) of the cervical spine. This is due to the concentric contraction of the sternocleidomastoid. The acromioclavicular joint and sternoclavicular joint are in abduction. This is due to concentric contraction of the pectoralis minor and serratus anterior. The shoulder is flexed at the glenohumeral joint. This is due to the concentric contraction of the following muscles: pectoralis major (upper fibers), coracobrachialis, and deltoid (anterior fibers). In the elbow, the humeroulnar joint must maintain complete extension, by concentrically contracting the triceps brachii. Also, in the elbow, the radioulnar joint is in pronation with the following muscles in concentric contraction: brachioradialis, pronator quadratus, and pronator teres. The wrist is in slight extension at the radiocarpal joint. This is due to a concentric contraction of the following muscles: extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor digitorum, extensor digiti minimi, extensor indicis, extensor pollicis brevis, and the extensor pollicis long. Lastly, the fingers, all five metacarpals in the hands, are located in a neutral position. This includes the distal interphalangeal joint, proximal interphalangeal joint, and metacarpophalangeal joint. The fingers are held in this neutral position due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor digitorum, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digiti minimi, and extensor indicis.

This fifth and final stage of a back handspring is when the body returns to a standing upright stance. An individual will finish the back handspring standing upright, feet together, with arms straight up beside head. Every muscle used in the particular phase is bilaterally the same for the right and left side of  the body. Further analyzed, starting with the toes, all five metatarsals of the foot are located in a neutral position. This includes the metatarsophalangeal joints, distal interphalangeal joints, and proximal interphalangeal joint. The toes are held in a neutral position due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: flexor digitorum longus, extensor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus, and the extensor hallucis longus. The feet are held in a neutral position at the transverse tarsal and subtalar joints. This is due to the isometric contraction of the following muscles: peroneus longus, peroneus tertius, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, tibialis anterior, and tibialis posterior. The talocrural joint of the leg are held in a neutral position. This is due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: the gastrocnemius, soleus, peroneus tertius, extensor digitorum longus, and tibialis anterior. The leg must maintain its neutral position at the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joint. This is possible by isometrically contracting the quadricep muscles (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris). The hip is held at a neutral position at the acetabular femoral joint. This is due to an isometric contraction of the gluteus maximus and the hamstring muscles (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris). The intervertebral joints, located int the lumbar spine, are held in neutral position. This is due to an isometric contraction of the following muscles: internal oblique, external oblique, rectus abdominus, and the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae iliocostalis, erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis). The head is in a neutral position, along with the atlantooccipital joint, the atlantoaxial joint, and the intervertebral joints (C2 through T1) of the cervical spine. This is due to the isometric contraction of the sternocleidomastoid and the erector spinae muscles (erector spinae longissimus, erector spinae spinalis, and the erector spinae iliocostalis). The acromioclavicular joint and sternoclavicular joint are in abduction. This is due to concentric contraction of the pectoralis minor and serratus anterior. The shoulder is flexed at the glenohumeral joint. This is due to concentric contraction of the following muscles: pectoralis major (upper fibers), coracobrachialis, and deltoid (anterior fibers). At the elbow, the radioulnar joint is in pronation with the following muscles in concentric contraction: brachioradialis, pronator quadratus, and pronator teres. Also, in the elbow, the humeroulnar joint is completely extended, due to concentric contraction of the triceps brachii. The radiocarpal joint of the wrist is in a neutral position. This is due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: abductor longus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor digitorum superficialis, palmaris longus, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor pollicis longus, extensor digiti minimi, extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor digitorum, and extensor indicis.  Lastly, the fingers, all five metacarpals in the hands, are located in a neutral position. This includes the distal interphalangeal joint, proximal interphalangeal joint, and metacarpophalangeal joint. The fingers are held in this neutral position due to an isometric contraction by the following muscles: extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor digitorum, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digiti minimi, and extensor indicis.

Reference Page

  • Floyd, R. T. (2015). Manual of Structural Kinesiology. New York, NY. McGraw-Hill, 19th edition.
  • Saladin, Kenneth. (2015). Human Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. New York, New York: McGraw- Hill Professional Publishing, 7th edition.
  • Cheerandtumble. “Cheerandtumble.” Cheer and Tumble, 12 Aug. 2011, cheerandtumble.tumblr.com/post/8817162142.
  • Behance. “How to Do a Back Handspring.” Behance, www.behance.net/gallery/1352615/How-to-do-a-back-handspring.
  • Gymnastikacz. “Přemet Vzad.” Blog.cz, gymnastikacz.blog.cz/1309/premet-vzad.
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