Effects of gender and foot-landing techniques on lower extremity kinematics during drop-jump landings

J Appl Biomech. 2007 Nov;23(4):289-99. doi: 10.1123/jab.23.4.289.


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 degrees +/- 11.78 degrees ) resulted in significantly (p = .001) less hip flexion than did the self-preferred (41.25 degrees +/- 12.89 degrees ) and rear foot (43.15 degrees +/- 11.77 degrees ) techniques. At peak vertical ground reaction force, the rear foot technique (26.77 degrees +/- 9.49 degrees ) presented significantly lower (p = .001) knee flexion angles as compared with forefoot (58.77 degrees +/- 20.00 degrees ) and self-preferred (54.21 degrees +/- 23.78 degrees ) 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 degrees +/- 7.51 degrees ) and forefoot (4.97 degrees +/- 7.90 degrees ) techniques presented greater knee varus angles as compared with the rear foot technique (0.08 degrees +/- 6.52 degrees ). 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / methods
  • Female
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiology*
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Lower Extremity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress, Mechanical