Gender Differences in Strength and Lower Extremity Kinematics During Landing

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Abstract

This study evaluated kinematic, vertical ground reaction forces, and strength variables in healthy collegiate female basketball, volleyball, and soccer players compared with matched male subjects. Thirty athletes did single-leg landing and forward hop tasks. An electromagnetic tracking device synchronized with a force plate provided kinematic data and vertical ground reaction force data, respectively. Maximum angular displacement and time to maximum angular displacement kinematic variables were calculated for hip flexion, abduction, rotation, knee flexion, and lower leg rotation. Vertical ground reaction force data normalized to body mass provided impulse, maximum force, time to maximum force, and stabilization time variables. An isokinetic device measured quadriceps and hamstring peak torque to body mass at 60°/second. With both tasks, females had significantly less knee flexion and lower leg internal rotation maximum angular displacement, and less knee flexion time to maximum angular displacement than males. For the single-leg land, females had significantly more hip internal rotation maximum angular displacement, and less lower leg internal rotation time to maximum angular displacement than males. For the forward hop, females had significantly more hip rotation time to maximum angular displacement than males. Females also had significantly less peak torque to body mass for the quadriceps and hamstrings than males. Weaker thigh musculature may be related to the abrupt stiffening of the knee and lower leg on landing in females.

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