Postural tremor and control of the upper limb in air pistol shooters

Wen Tzu Tang, Wen Yu Zhang, Chien Chun Huang, Ming Shing Young, Ing Shiou Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


A postural tremor appears whenever someone attempts to maintain a steady position against gravity. We examined the postural tremor that occurred while air pistol shooters were taking aim so as to compare the coordinative control of the shooters and to identify the features critical to successful shooting. Ten elite and ten pre-elite athletes participated in pistol shooting at 10 m, and the postural tremors in the pistol and upper limb were recorded with lightweight accelerometers. Exploratory analysis showed that the elite shooters had smaller tremor amplitudes than the pre-elite shooters in the pistol and distal arm segments. Compared with the pre-elite shooters, the elite shooters had a smaller tremor amplitude in the lateral direction relative to that in the vertical direction, together with weaker tremor coupling in the lateral direction and stronger vertical coupling of the pistol-hand complex. The resulting shot performance was inversely related to the amplitude of the tremor and to the 8-12 Hz spectral peak of the lateral tremor in the pistol-hand complex. We conclude that the postural tremors of air pistol shooters are associated with the skill of the shooters, and that the elite shooters could optimize the control of the pistol-hand complex, which strongly determined success in shooting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1579-1587
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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