Lower extremity muscle activation and knee flexion during a jump-landing task

Meghan Walsh, Michelle C. Boling, Melanie McGrath, Troy Blackburn, Darin A. Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context: Decreased sagittal-plane motion at the knee during dynamic tasks has been reported to increase impact forces during landing, potentially leading to knee injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Objective: To describe the relationship between lower extremity muscle activity and knee-flexion angle during a jump-landing task. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Thirty recreationally active volunteers (15 men, 15 women: age = 21.63 ± 2.01 years, height = 173.95 ± 11.88 cm, mass = 72.57 ± 14.25 kg). Intervention(s): Knee-flexion angle and lower extremity muscle activity were collected during 10 trials of a jump-landing task. Main Outcome Measure(s): Simple correlation analyses were performed to determine the relationship between each knee-flexion variable (initial contact, peak, and displacement) and electromyographic amplitude of the gluteus maximus (GMAX), quadriceps (VMO and VL), hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and quadriceps : hamstring (Q : H) ratio. Separate forward stepwise multiple regressions were conducted to determine which combination of muscle activity variables predicted each knee-flexion variable. Results: During preactivation, VMO and GMAX activity and the Q : H ratio were negatively correlated with knee-flexion angle at initial contact (VMO: r =-0.382, P = .045; GMAX: r = -0.385, P = .043; Q : H ratio: r =-0.442, P = .018). The VMO, VL, and GMAX deceleration values were negatively correlated with peak knee-flexion angle (VMO: r =-0.687, P = .001; VL: r =-0.467, P = .011; GMAX: r =-0.386, P = .043). The VMO and VL deceleration values were negatively correlated with knee-flexion displacement (VMO: r =-0.631, P = .001; VL: r = -0.453, P = .014). The Q : H ratio and GM activity predicted 34.7% of the variance in knee-flexion angle at initial contact (P = .006). The VMO activity predicted 47.1% of the variance in peak knee-flexion angle (P = .001). The VMO and VL activity predicted 49.5% of the variance in knee-flexion displacement (P = .001). Conclusions: Greater quadriceps and GMAX activation and less hamstrings and gastrocnemius activation were correlated with smaller knee-flexion angles. This landing strategy may predispose an individual to increased impact forces due to the negative influence on knee-flexion position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-413
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Biomechanics
  • Knee injuries

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