Sparrings with opponents in training and hand-to-hand combat championships are characterized by high density, variety of strike combinations and defensive actions, biases, deceptive movements, that is, they have a complex coordination structure. Therefore, the role of the vestibular system is really significant, especially for athletes practicing hand-to-hand combat with full contact with an opponent. During training and competition, these athletes must maintain the vertical body position in space and must not fall due to any opponent's actions, or quickly return to the normal position of the body from any other positions. Maintaining and balancing is a complex reflex process controlled by a continuous flow of pulses coming from the muscles, proprioceptors of the tendons, skin extra receptors, the vestibular and visual system to the corresponding central nervous system (CNS) departments. When disturbed, these impulses activate reflex contractions of muscle fibers for its recovery, which leads to continuous fluctuations in the human body. These fluctuations can be registered with special devices. The purpose of the study is to assess the vestibular system state in athletes of various skill levels, practicing hand-to-hand combat with full contact with an opponent. Material and methods. The study of the state of the vestibular system was carried out with the participation of 24 athletes engaged in hand-to-hand combat with full contact with an opponent (the first group), and 20 athletes-beginners (the second group) before and after exercises, which lasted 90 minutes. Results and discussion. The obtained results showed that the second group values of amplitude and velocity of the oscillations of the pressure center of feet on platform and the extent of its coordinates along the X and Y axis were significantly higher than those of the first group athletes. The first group athletes’ oscillations of the pressure center are spread in all directions with the same probability. The second group athletes directed them mainly along the Y axis. Thus, the initial performance of the vestibular system of athletes engaged hand-to-hand combat was significantly better than that of athletes-beginners. After exercises, the amplitudes and velocity of oscillations of the pressure center of feet on the platform, the total length of the trajectory of its motion and its projection on the corresponding axis increased significantly in the first group athletes. However, we did not reveal the preferred direction of the pressure center displacement both before and after exercises. On the other hand, the equilibrium function quality index (EFQ) has significantly decreased. The EFQ index before exercise was within the normal range in the first group. After exercise it fell into the zone of donosology, which may indicate the development of a fatigue state. We did not note reliable changes in the vestibular system indicators after the exercises in sportsmen of the second group, although there was a tendency to their growth. Before exercises, the EFQ was almost normal in this group, after exercises it decreased and fell into the zone of "pathology". This may indicate an excessive training load for athletes of the second group. That is why the vestibular functions were lower than in the first group. Conclusions. The obtained results allow us to use the vestibular system state indicators in assessment of the functional state of athletes. They also help to determine the effect of the training exercises on athletes’ functional state.
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