The Effects of Postseason Break on Knee Biomechanics and Lower Extremity EMG in a Stop-Jump Task: Implications for ACL Injury

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The effects of training on biomechanical risk factors for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries have been investigated, but the effects of detraining have received little attention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a one-month postseason break on knee biomechanics and lower extremity electromyography (EMG) during a stop-jump task. A postseason break is the phase between two seasons when no regular training routines are performed. Twelve NCAA female volleyball players participated in two stop-jump tests before and after the postseason break. Knee kinematics, kinetics, quadriceps EMG, and hamstring EMG were assessed. After one month of postseason break, the players demonstrated significantly decreased jump height, decreased initial knee flexion angle, decreased knee flexion angle at peak anterior tibial resultant force, decreased prelanding vastus lateralis EMG, and decreased prelanding biceps femoris EMG as compared with prebreak. No significant differences were observed for frontal plane biomechanics and quadriceps and hamstring landing EMG between prebreak and postbreak. Although it is still unknown whether internal ACL loading changes after a postseason break, the more extended knee movement pattern may present an increased risk factor for ACL injuries.

Boyi Dai (Corresponding Author) is with the Division of Kinesiology and Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. Christopher J. Sorensen is with the Program in Physical Therapy, School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Timothy R. Derrick and Jason C. Gillette are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.