Date of Award

Winter 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences


Physical Education -- Exercise Science and Wellness

Committee Director

Donald H. Sussman

Committee Member

Elizabeth Dowling

Committee Member

Martha L. Walker


There is very limited information available on the effects of gymnastics skills on spinal hyperextension. Eleven young female gymnasts between the ages of 11 and 15 participated in this study. The subjects height and weight were taken then they were screened for musculoskeletal injuries, normal abdominal and back extensor strength, normal hip flexor and hamstring flexibility, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis. Hyperextension of the spinal column was measured during normal standing, hyperextending the spine in standing, and during four different gymnastics skills, using the Peak5 motion analysis system. Each subject performed five acceptable trials of four different gymnastics skill including a back walkover, back handspring, front walkover, and front handspring. Maximum, minimum, and mean descriptive statistics were completed on the different variables to determine the amount of hyperextension at hand contact, peak hyperextension, and hands-off during the four skills. A one way analysis of variance with repeated measures was performed on these individual dependent measures to determine main effects among the four gymnastics skills. If the ANOVA for main effects was significant, a post-hoc Tukey analysis determined differences between group means.


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