There is a lack of studies investigating gender differences in whole-body kinematics during single-leg landings from increasing vertical heights and horizontal distances. This study determined the main effects and interactions of gender, vertical height, and horizontal distance on whole-body joint kinematics during single-leg landings, and established whether these findings could explain the gender disparity in non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rate. Recreationally active males (n=6) and females (n=6) performed single-leg landings from a takeoff deck of vertical height of 20, 40, and 60 cm placed at a horizontal distance of 30, 50 and 70 cm from the edge of a force platform, while 3D kinematics and kinetics were simultaneously measured. It was determined that peak vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) and the ankle flexion angle exhibited significant gender differences (p=0.028, partial η2=0.40 and p=0.035, partial η2=0.37, respectively). Peak VGRF was significantly correlated to the ankle flexion angle (r= -0.59, p=0.04), hip flexion angle (r= -0.74, p=0.006), and trunk flexion angle (r= -0.59, p=0.045). Peak posterior ground reaction force (PGRF) was significantly correlated to the ankle flexion angle (r= -0.56, p=0.035), while peak knee abduction moment was significantly correlated to the knee flexion angle (r= -0.64, p=0.03). Rearfoot landings may explain the higher ACL injury rate among females. Higher plantar-flexed ankle, hip, and trunk flexion angles were associated with lower peak ground reaction forces, while higher knee flexion angle was associated with lower peak knee abduction moment, and these kinematics implicate reduced risk of non-contact ACL injury.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.