Erik Blucker

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, United States

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Publications (6)5.64 Total impact

  • Yoshiaki Takei, J Hubert Dunn, Erik P Blucker
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the somersaulting techniques used in the 16 highest-scoring and 16 lowest-scoring Roche vaults. Our hypothesis was that the gymnasts performing the highest-scoring Roche vaults would demonstrate a better technique than those performing the lowest-scoring Roche vaults while on the horse (pushing off the horse more effectively), somersaulting (executing most of the required somersaults higher in flight), and landing (showing a greater control). A 16-mm motion picture camera, operating at 100 Hz, recorded the vaults during the official competition. The two-dimensional direct linear transformation was used for spatial reconstruction. The results of t-tests (P < 0.05) indicated that, compared with the low-scoring gymnasts, the high-scoring gymnasts had: (1) greater height of body centre of mass and a more fully extended body position at the horse take-off; (2) greater height of body centre of mass at the peak of post-flight, knee release, and touchdown on the mat; (3) greater horizontal and vertical displacements of body centre of mass, greater somersaulting rotation, and longer time from the knee release to mat touchdown; and (d) markedly smaller landing point deductions. In conclusion, a successful Roche vault is likely when the focus is on: (a) leaving the horse with a large vertical velocity in an extended body position to achieve a high trajectory of centre of mass by first extending the legs, then immediately pushing off the horse vigorously, using the muscles of the upper extremity; (b) grasping the knees immediately after the take-off from the horse, achieving the tightly tucked body position early during the ascent to the peak, and completing two-thirds of the required somersaults at a great height; (c) releasing the knees and extending the body above the top level of the horse; and (d) contacting the mat with a high body centre of mass position.
    Journal of Sports Sciences 04/2007; 25(6):673-85. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Yoshiaki Takei, J Hubert Dunn, Erik Blucker
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    ABSTRACT: The 16 highest-scored Roche vaults (G1) performed during the 2000 Olympic Games were compared with those receiving the 16 lowest-scores (G2). A 16-mm motion picture camera operating at 100 Hz recorded the vaults during the competition. The results of t tests (p < .05) indicated G1, compared to G2, had (a) shorter time of board support, greater normalised average upward vertical force and backward horizontal force exerted by the board, greater change in the vertical velocity while on the board, and greater vertical velocity at board take-off, (b) comparable linear and angular motions in pre-flight, (c) smaller backward horizontal impulse exerted by the horse, smaller loss of the horizontal velocity while on the horse, and greater horizontal and vertical velocities at horse take-off, (d) greater height and larger horizontal distance of post-flight, (e) higher body mass centre at knee release, and (f) higher mass centre, greater normalised moment of inertia, and smaller vertical velocity at mat touchdown. Therefore, gymnasts and coaches should focus on sprinting the approach; blocking and pushing-off the take-off board rapidly and vigorously; departing the board with a large vertical velocity; exerting large downward vertical force and small forward horizontal force from the hand-stand position while on the horse; departing the horse with large horizontal and vertical velocities; and completing the majority of the double salto forward near the peak of trajectory and releasing the knees above the top of the horse to prepare for a controlled landing.
    Sports Biomechanics 07/2003; 2(2):141-62. · 0.74 Impact Factor
  • Article: Gymnastics
    Sports Biomechanics 07/2003; 2(2):141-162. · 0.74 Impact Factor
  • Y Takei, E P Blucker, H Nohara, N Yamashita
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the mechanical variables that govern success of the Hecht vault. The participants were 122 male gymnasts from 30 countries performing the vault at the 1995 World Gymnastics Championships. The vaults were filmed using a Photosonics 16-mm motion picture camera operating at 100 Hz. Approximately 80 frames were digitized for each vault analysed. The method of Hay and Reid was used to develop a theoretical model to identify the mechanical and physical variables that determine linear and angular motions of the vault. Correlational analysis was used to establish the strength of the relationship between the causal mechanical variables identified in the model and the judges' scores. Significant correlations (P < 0.005) indicated that the following were important determinants of success: large horizontal and vertical velocities at take-off from the board and the horse; large vertical and angular distances of pre-flight; large vertical impulses of high force and short duration exerted on the horse and the resulting large changes in vertical velocity on the horse; and large horizontal and vertical distances and long times of post-flight. Of the 18 significant variables identified in the present study, the angular distance of pre- and post-flights, the horizontal velocity and angular momentum at take-off from the horse, and the average moment of inertia and duration of post-flight collectively accounted for 57% of the variation in the judges' scores.
    Journal of Sports Sciences 12/2000; 18(11):849-63. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Y. Takei, J. H. Dunn, E. P. Blucker
    Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/1998; 30.
  • Yoshiaki Takei, Erik P. Blucker

Publication Stats

10 Citations
5.64 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2007
    • Northern Illinois University
      • Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
      DeKalb, IL, United States