Comparison of landing maneuvers between male and female college volleyball players

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Abstract

Objective.

To compare differences in kinematic and kinetic parameters of knee, hip and ankle joints between male and female college volleyball players.

Design.

Cross-sectional study.

Background.

Landing injuries, which usually involve anterior cruciate ligament injuries, are common in volleyball with a higher incidence in females. Landing preferences of both male and female players may provide additional background about the mechanisms contributing to the anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Methods.

Eight female and eight male college volleyball players performed spike and block landings from 40 and 60 cm height platforms. Lower extremity joint kinetics and kinematics, and leg muscle strengths were recorded.

Results.

Females demonstrated significantly lower knee and hip flexion angles compared to their male counterparts in knee flexion at 40 cm spike and hip flexion at 40 cm block landings. Group comparison also revealed that male players' peak knee extensor moment at 60 cm block landing was significantly different than female players. Additionally, female players applied significantly higher normalized ground reaction forces and males knee flexion angles and thigh muscle strength results positive and highly correlated but relation could not found in females. It is likely that females may not use their thigh muscles as effective as males in landing.

Conclusion.

Female volleyball players initiate different lower extremity mechanics during landings than that of males.

Relevance

Identifying the landing strategy differences between female and male college volleyball players may provide detailed perspective about the load distribution in lower extremity joints for determining major factors affecting the increased incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in females.

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