Biomechanical factors associated with time to complete a change of direction cutting maneuver

J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Oct;28(10):2845-51. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000463.


Cutting ability is an important aspect of many team sports, however, the biomechanical determinants of cutting performance are not well understood. This study aimed to address this issue by identifying the kinetic and kinematic factors correlated with the time to complete a cutting maneuver. In addition, an analysis of the test-retest reliability of all biomechanical measures was performed. Fifteen (n = 15) elite multidirectional sports players (Gaelic hurling) were recruited, and a 3-dimensional motion capture analysis of a 75° cut was undertaken. The factors associated with cutting time were determined using bivariate Pearson's correlations. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to examine the test-retest reliability of biomechanical measures. Five biomechanical factors were associated with cutting time (2.28 ± 0.11 seconds): peak ankle power (r = 0.77), peak ankle plantar flexor moment (r = 0.65), range of pelvis lateral tilt (r = -0.54), maximum thorax lateral rotation angle (r = 0.51), and total ground contact time (r = -0.48). Intraclass correlation coefficient scores for these 5 factors, and indeed for the majority of the other biomechanical measures, ranged from good to excellent (ICC >0.60). Explosive force production about the ankle, pelvic control during single-limb support, and torso rotation toward the desired direction of travel were all key factors associated with cutting time. These findings should assist in the development of more effective training programs aimed at improving similar cutting performances. In addition, test-retest reliability scores were generally strong, therefore, motion capture techniques seem well placed to further investigate the determinants of cutting ability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Foot / physiology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Kinetics
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Pelvic Bones / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • Torso / physiology
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult