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Original Research Effects of Gender and Foot-Landing Techniques on Lower Extremity Kinematics During Drop-Jump Landings

289 – 299

The purpose of this study was to assess kinematic

lower extremity motion patterns (hip

flexion, knee flexion, knee valgus, and ankle

dorsiflexion) during various foot-landing techniques

(self-preferred, forefoot, and rear foot)

between genders. 3-D kinematics were collected

on 50 (25 male and 25 female) college-age

recreational athletes selected from a sample

of convenience. Separate repeated-measures

ANOVAs were used to analyze each variable

at three time instants (initial contact, peak

vertical ground reaction force, and maximum

knee flexion angle). There were no significant

differences found between genders at the three

instants for each variable. At initial contact, the

forefoot technique (35.79° ± 11.78°) resulted

in significantly (p = .001) less hip flexion than

did the self-preferred (41.25° ± 12.89°) and

rear foot (43.15° ± 11.77°) techniques. At peak

vertical ground reaction force, the rear foot

technique (26.77° ± 9.49°) presented significantly

lower (p = .001) knee flexion angles as

compared with forefoot (58.77° ± 20.00°) and

self-preferred (54.21° ± 23.78°) techniques. A

significant difference for knee valgus angles (p

= .001) was also found between landing techniques

at peak vertical ground reaction force.

The self-preferred (4.12° ± 7.51°) and forefoot

(4.97° ± 7.90°) techniques presented greater

knee varus angles as compared with the rear

foot technique (0.08° ± 6.52°). The rear foot

technique created more ankle dorsiflexion and

less knee flexion than did the other techniques.

The lack of gender differences can mean that

lower extremity injuries (e.g., ACL tears) may

not be related solely to gender but may instead

be associated with the landing technique used

and, consequently, the way each individual

absorbs jump-landing energy.

Authors: Nelson Cortes, James A. Onate, João Abrantes, Linda Gagen, Elizabeth A. Dowling, Bonnie L. Van Lunen

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