BRIEF REVIEW: VELOCITY MEASUREMENT IN BOXING

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Linear Force Transducers (LFT) are devices designed to measure the displacement and velocity of movement via a tethered cord. They have been utilised extensively in a variety of different sports, and have been shown to be more reliable than accelerometers in measuring linear kinematics. At present, the effectiveness of LFTs in analysing punching technique has only been used in non-trained subjects, whose kinematics are likely to be very different to that of a trained boxer. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess the reliability of two different measurement devices in assessing the velocity of a punch. 

18 junior (av. 16.7 y/o) national and international level boxers underwent two separate (7 days apart) testing sessions (following a familiarisation session) where the mean and peak velocity of their rear hand straight punch was measured with both gymaware (LPT) and PUSH band 2.0 (accelerometer) systems. 

The reliability for both mean and maximum peak velocity for the gymaware device was shown to be “good”, whereas both these measures were determined to be “poor” for the PUSH band. The mean peak velocity for these trials as recorded by the gymaware device was 7.0 m/s, with the maximum peak velocity 7.5m/s. 

Although impractical to be used in sparring/drilling situations, when aiming to obtain an accurate measurement of the velocity of punching techniques in specific testing scenarios, an LPT such as the gymaware may be a more reliable method in comparison to an accelerometer. More studies are required, however, to validate this amongst different populations and levels of athletes.

1. Harris DM, Caillaud K, Khullar S, Haff GG, Latella C. The reliability of a linear position transducer and commercially available accelerometer to measure punching velocity in junior boxing athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2020;1747954120952574.

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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