Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 402 - 412

Research article
Biomechanical Analysis of Abdominal Injury in Tennis Serves. A Case Report
François Tubez1,2,3, , Bénédicte Forthomme1,3,4, Jean-Louis Croisier1,3,4, Caroline Cordonnier1,3, Olivier Brüls1,5, Vincent Denoël1,6, Gilles Berwart1,3, Maurice Joris7, Stéphanie Grosdent3,4, Cédric Schwartz1
Author Information
1 Laboratory of Human Motion Analysis (LAMH), University of Liège, Belgium
2 Physiotherapy Department, Haute École Robert Schuman (HERS), Libramont, Belgium
3 Department of Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Liège, Belgium
4 University Hospital Center of Liège, Liège, Belgium
5 Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (LTAS), University of Liège, Belgium
6 Structural Engineering, Department ArGEnCo, University of Liège, Belgium
7 Medical Centre Trixhay Sport and Art, Liège, Belgium

François Tubez
✉ Laboratory of Human Motion Analysis (LAMH), Department of Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Liège, 4, Allée des Sports 4000 Liège, Belgium
Publish Date
Received: 01-09-2014
Accepted: 11-03-2015
Published (online): 01-06-2015
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The serve is an important stroke in any high level tennis game. A well-mastered serve is a substantial advantage for players. However, because of its repeatability and its intensity, this stroke is potentially deleterious for upper limbs, lower limbs and trunk. The trunk is a vital link in the production and transfer of energy from the lower limbs to the upper limbs; therefore, kinematic disorder could be a potential source of risk for trunk injury in tennis. This research studies the case of a professional tennis player who has suffered from a medical tear on the left rectus abdominis muscle after tennis serve. The goal of the study is to understand whether the injury could be explained by an inappropriate technique. For this purpose, we analyzed in three dimensions the kinematic and kinetic aspects of the serve. We also performed isokinetic tests of the player’s knees. We then compared the player to five other professional players as reference. We observed a possible deficit of energy transfer because of an important anterior pelvis tilt. Some compensation made by the player during the serve could be a possible higher abdominal contraction and a larger shoulder external rotation. These particularities could induce an abdominal overwork that could explain the first injury and may provoke further injuries.

Key words: Kinematics, tennis, overarm throwing, performance, pathology, abdomen

           Key Points
  • In the proximal-distal sequence, energy is transmitted from lower limbs to upper limps via trunk.
  • The 3D analysis tool is an indispensable test for an objective evaluation of the kinematic in the tennis serve.
  • Multiple evaluations techniques are useful for fuller comprehension of the kinematics and contribute to the awareness of the player’s staff concerning pathologies and performance.
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