Effect of arm movement on balance performance in children: role of expertise in gymnastics

Thomas Muehlbauer, Joana Heise, Mathew W. Hill

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    3 Citations (Scopus)
    40 Downloads (Pure)


    Objective: Studies have shown that balance performance is better in gymnasts compared to age-/sex-matched controls and further studies revealed superior performance when arms were free to move during assessment of balance. However, it is unknown whether free arm movement during balance testing differentially affects balance performance with respect to sports expertise (i.e., gymnasts are less affected than age-/sex-matched controls). Therefore, we investigated the effect of arm movement on balance performance in young female gymnasts compared to age-/sex-matched controls while performing balance tasks with various difficulty levels. Results: In both samples, balance performance (except for the timed one-legged stance) was significantly better during free compared to restricted arm movement conditions and this was especially observed in the highest task difficulty condition of the 3-m beam walking backward test. These findings revealed that balance performance is positively affected by free arm movements, but this does not seem to be additionally influenced by the achieved expertise level in young gymnasts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number363
    Number of pages5
    JournalBMC Research Notes
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory
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    • Postural control
    • Standing
    • Walking
    • Reaching
    • Sports expertise


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