Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2012) 11, 255 - 259

Research article
Muscle Activity Response to External Moment During Single-Leg Drop Landing in Young Basketball Players: The Importance of Biceps Femoris in Reducing Internal Rotation of Knee During Landing
Meguru Fujii1, Haruhiko Sato2, , Naonobu Takahira1,2,3
Author Information
1 Clinical Kinesiology Laboratory, Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Science, Japan
2 Kitasato University School of Allied Health Sciences, Sagamihara, Japan
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kitasato East Hospital, Japan

Haruhiko Sato
‚úČ Kitasato University School of Allied Health Sciences, 1-15-1, Kitasato, Minamiku, Sagamihara, 252-0373, Japan
Publish Date
Received: 28-09-2011
Accepted: 15-02-2012
Published (online): 01-06-2012
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Internal tibial rotation with the knee close to full extension combined with valgus collapse during drop landing generally results in non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between internal rotation of the knee and muscle activity from internal and external rotator muscles, and between the internal rotation of knee and externally applied loads on the knee during landing in collegiate basketball players. Our hypothesis was that the activity of biceps femoris muscle would be an important factor reducing internal knee rotation during landing. The subjects were 10 collegiate basketball students: 5 females and 5 males. The subjects performed a single-leg drop landing from a 25-cm height. Femoral and tibial kinematics were measured using a 3D optoelectronic tracking system during the drop landings, and then the knee angular motions were determined. Ground reaction forces and muscle activation patterns (lateral hamstring and medial hamstring) were simultaneously measured and computed. Results indicated that lower peak internal tibial rotation angle at the time of landing was associated with greater lateral hamstring activity (r = -0.623, p < 0.001). When gender was considered, the statistically significant correlation remained only in females. There was no association between the peak internal tibial rotation angle and the knee internal rotation moment. Control of muscle activity in the lateral to medial hamstring would be an important factor in generating sufficient force to inhibit excessive internal rotation during landing. Strengthening the biceps femoris might mitigate the higher incidence of non-contact ACL injury in female athletes.

Key words: ACL injury, risk factors, knee moment, muscle activation

           Key Points
  • Lower activity of the external rotator muscle of the knee, which inhibits internal rotation of the knee, may be the reason why females tend to show a large internal rotation of the knee during drop landing.
  • Externally applied internal rotation moment of the knee during landing would not be expected to explain why female athletes tend to show excessive internal knee rotation.
  • Biceps femoris strength training might help decrease the incidence of non-contact ACL injury in female athletes.
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