Humans adapt the initial posture in learning a whole-body kicking movement

Jenny Reifel Saltzberg, Jan M. Hondzinski, Martha Flanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


What strategies are used in learning to control new movements? The present investigation sought to understand this process by analyzing the changes in whole-body kinematics that occurred when subjects attempted to learn an unusual kicking movement. Five novices were taught a capoeira kick that involved both the upper and lower body for balance and co-ordination. Subjects performed two sets of 60 consecutive kicks, 24 h apart. Gradual changes in the body movement and the initial posture were found. Four subjects reduced the dynamic counter-twist associated with kick initiation. These subjects also adopted a more forward initial body lean. This gradual change in initial posture appeared to obviate the early counter-twist and to facilitate both the equilibrium and the goal directed components of the kick.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 22 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant R01 NS27484. We thank our capoeira instructors: Yoji Senna, Taiwo Reuben and Jose-Luis Gallagher.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Capoeira
  • Kinematics
  • Motor control
  • Motor learning
  • Postural control
  • Whole-body movement


Dive into the research topics of 'Humans adapt the initial posture in learning a whole-body kicking movement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this