Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most serious and costly injuries of the lower extremity, occurring more frequently in females than males. Injury prevention training programs have reported the ability to reduce non-contact ACL injury occurrence. These programs have also been shown to alter an athletes' lower extremity position at initial contact with the ground and throughout the deceleration phase of landing. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of single-leg landing technique on ACL loading in recreationally active females. Participants were asked to perform "soft" and "stiff" drop landings. A series of musculoskeletal models were then used to estimate muscle, joint, and ACL forces. Dependent t-tests were conducted to investigate differences between the two landing techniques (p<0.05). Instructing participants to land 'softly' resulted in a significant decrease in peak ACL force (p=0.05), and a significant increase in hip and knee flexion both at initial contact (IC) and the time of peak ACL force (F(PACL)). These findings suggest that altering landing technique using simple verbal instruction may result in lower extremity alignment that decreases the resultant load on the ACL. Along with supporting the findings of reduced ACL force with alterations in sagittal plane landing mechanics in the current literature, the results of this study suggest that simple verbal instruction may reduce the ACL force experienced by athletes when landing.
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