Relationship between the armed arm’s motor response and muscle activation time during the lunge in fencers of varied ability


  • Štefan Balkó J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia
  • Josef Heidler J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia
  • Marek Jelínek J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia



Surface electromyography, Motor control, Biomechanics, Sport performance, Reaction time


The present work studied potential differences in activation times of selected muscles associated with the motor responses of the armed arm and differences in selected muscle pairs activation during the fencing lunge. Twenty-eight fencers (epée fencers, aged 22.1 ± 5.4 years) grouped into elite and beginning skill levels, participated in this study. Surface electromyography was used to determine muscle activation time (time period measured from visual stimulus occurrence to the moment of muscle activation threshold detection). For motor response, we measured the time between visual stimulus occurrence and armed arm movement. A significant difference was found between elite and beginning fencers in the motor response of the armed arm. Detection of armed arm’s motor response was significantly later in beginners. Greater time disparities between arm’s motor response and muscle activation time of the m. rectus femoris on the front/lunge side was also found in beginners. Lastly, difference was detected between elite and beginning fencers regarding the muscle activation time of selected muscle pairs. Future studies and trainers can use these results to further explore key areas of motor control and biomechanics for improving of fencing performance.


The research was conducted with the support of the specific university research grant SGS and IG in the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.


Download data is not yet available.


Allerdissen, M., Güldenpenning, I., Schack, T., & Bläsing B. (2017). Recognizing fencing attacks from auditory and visual information: A comparison between expert fencers and novices. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31(1), 123-130.

Adrian, M., & Klinger, A. (1976). A biomechanical analysis of the fencing lunge. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 8(1), 56.

Bober, T., Rutkowska-Kucharska, A., Jaroszczuk, S., Barabasz, M., & Woźnica, W. (2017). Kinematic characterization of the lunge and the fleche in epee fencing: two case studies. Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism, 23(4), 181-185.

Borysiuk, Z., & Waskiewicz, Z. (2008). Information processes, stimulation and perceptual training in fencing. Journal of Human Kinetics, 19(1), 63-82.

Bottoms, L., Greenhalgh, A., & Sinclair, J. (2013). Kinematic determinants of weapon velocity during the fencing lunge in experienced épée fencers. Acta of Bioengineering and Biomechanics, 15(4), 109-113.

Carboch, J., Süss, V., & Kocib, T. (2014). Ball Machine Usage in Tennis: Movement Initiation and Swing Timing While Returning Balls from a Ball Machine and from a Real Server. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 13(2), 304–308.

Czajkowski, Z. (2005). Understanding fencing: The unity and practice. Staten Island, NY: SKA Swordplay Books.

Doyle, T. P., Lutz, R. S., Pellegrino, J. K., Sanders, D. J., & Arent, S. M. (2016). The effects of caffeine on arousal, response time, accuracy, and performance in division I collegiate fencers. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 30(11), 3228-3235.

Enoka, R. (2008). Neuromechanics of human movement. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.

Frère, J., Göepfert, B., Nüesch, C., Huber, C., Fischer, M., Wirz, D., & Friederich, N. F. (2011). Kinematical and EMG-classifications of a fencing attack. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(1), 28-34.

Geil, M. D. (2002). The role of footwear on kinematics and plantar foot pressure in fencing. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 18(2), 155-162.

Gholipour, M., Tabrizi, A., & Farahmand, F. (2008). Kinematics analysis of lunge fencing using stereophotogrametry. World Journal of Sport Sciences, 1(1), 32-37.

Gutiérrez-Cruz, C., Rojas, F. J., & Guriérrez-Davila, M. (2016). Effect of defence response time during lunge in foil fencing. Journal of Sports Sciences, 34(7), 651-657.

Gutiérrez-Davila, M., Rojas, F. J., Antonio, R., & Navarro, E. (2013). Response timing in the lunge and target change in elite versus medium-level fencers. European Journal of Sport Science, 13(4), 364-371.

Hagemann, N., Shorer, J., Ca-al-Bruland, R., Lotz, S., & Strauss B. (2010). Visual perception in fencing: Do the eye movements of fencers represent their information pickup? Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(8), 2204-2214.

Harmenberg, J., Ceci, R., Barvestad, P., Hjerpe, K., & Nyström, J. (1991). Comparison of different tests of fencing performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12(6), 573-576.

Chan, J. S. Y., Wong, A. C. N., Liu, Y., Yu, J., Yan, J. (2011). Fencing expertise and physical fitness enhance action inhibition. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(5), 509-514.

Chen, T. L-W., Wong, D. W-C., Wang, Y., Ren, S., Yan, F., & Zhang, M. (2017). Biomechanics of fencing sport: A scoping review. PLoS ONE, 12(2): e0171578.

Cheris, E. (2002). Fencing. Step to success. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.

Kriventsova, I., Iermakov, S., Bartik, P., Nosko, M., & Cynarski, W.J. (2017). Optimization of student-fencers´ tactical training. Ido Movement for Culture - Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology, 17(3), 21-30. https://10.14589/ido.17.3.3

Roi G. S., & Bianchedi, D. (2008). The science of fencing. implications for performance and injury prevention. Sports Medicine, 38(6), 465-481.

Sillero, M., Saucedo, F., López, E., De Antonio, R., & De Quel, O. M. (2008). Analysis of the rear leg rotation movement during the fencing lunge. Fencing, Science & Technology, 1st International Congress on Science and Technology in Fencing . Barcelona.

Sinclair, J., & Bottoms, L. (2013a). Methods of determining hip joint centre: Their influence on the 3-d kinematics of the hip and knee during the fencing lunge. Human Movement, 14(3), 229-237.

Sinclair, J., & Bottoms, L. (2013b). Gender differences in the kinetics and lower extremity kinematics of the fencing lunge. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13(2), 440-451.

Schmidt, R. A., & Wrisberg, C. A. (2008). Motor learning and performance: A situation-based learning approach. 4th ed. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.

Stewart, S. I., & Kopetka, B. (2005). The kinematic determinants of speed in the fencing lunge. Journal of Sport Sciences, 23, 105.

Szilagyi, T. (1993). Dynamic characterisation of fencing lunge. International Society of Biomechanics. XIVth Congress, Paris.

Špulák, D., Čmejla, R., Mikulíková, P., Bezoušková Paulů, J., & Kračmar, B. (2012). Muscle activity detection using EMG envelope thresholding-comparison of various approaches. 20th Annual Conference Proceeding’s Technical Computing. Bratislava.

Turner, A., Bishop, Ch., Chavda, S., Edwards, M., Brazier, J., & Kilduff, L. (2016). Physical characteristics underpinning lunging and change of direction speed in fencing. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 30(8), 2235-2241.

Wąsik, J. (2015). Kinetics of the knife-hand strike used in power breaking in ITF Taekwon-do. Physical Activity Review, 3(1), 37-43.

Wąsik, J., & Góra, T. (2016). Impact of target selection on front kick kinematics in taekwondo - pilot study. Physical Activity Review, 4(1), 57-61.

Weichenberger, M., Shilling-Kästle, V., Mentz, L., Engleder, T., Hessling, M. (2015). A fencing robot for performance testing in elite fencers. Sports Technology, 8(3-4), 95-99.

Williams, L. R. T., & Walmsley, A. (2000a). Response amendment in fencing: Differences between elite and novice subjects. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 91(1), 131-142.

Williams, L. R. T., & Walmsley, A. (2000b). Response timing and muscular coordination in fencing: A comparison of elite and novice fencers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 3(4), 460-475.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Balkó, Štefan, Heidler, J., & Jelínek, M. (2018). Relationship between the armed arm’s motor response and muscle activation time during the lunge in fencers of varied ability. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 13(1), 50–59.



Performance Analysis of Sport