Effects of jump and balance training on knee kinematics and electromyography of female basketball athletes during a single limb drop landing: pre-post intervention study

Author(s): Nagano Y, Ida H, Akai M, Fukubayashi T


Background:Some research studies have investigated the effects of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention programs on knee kinematics during landing tasks; however the results were different among the studies. Even though tibial rotation is usually observed at the time of ACL injury, the effects of training programs for knee kinematics in the horizontal plane have not yet been analyzed. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a jump and balance training program on knee kinematics including tibial rotation as well as on electromyography of the quadriceps and hamstrings in female athletes.

Methods:Eight female basketball athletes participated in the experiment. All subjects performed a single limb landing at three different times: the initial test, five weeks later, and one week after completing training. The jump and balance training program lasted for five weeks. Knee kinematics and simultaneous electromyography of the rectus femoris and Hamstrings before training were compared with those measured after completing the training program.

Results:After training, regarding the position of the knee at foot contact, the knee flexion angle for the Post-training trial (mean (SE): 24.4 (2.1) deg) was significantly larger than that for the Pre-training trial (19.3 (2.5) deg) (p < 0.01). The absolute change during landing in knee flexion for the Post-training trial (40.2 (1.9) deg) was significantly larger than that for the Pre-training trial (34.3 (2.5) deg) (p < 0.001). Tibial rotation and the knee varus/valgus angle were not significantly different after training. A significant increase was also found in the activity of the hamstrings 50 ms before foot contact (p < 0.05).

Conclusions:The jump and balance training program successfully increased knee flexion and hamstring activity of female athletes during landing, and has the possibility of producing partial effects to avoid the characteristic knee position observed in ACL injury, thereby preventing injury. However, the expected changes in frontal and transverse kinematics of the knee were not observed.

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