Soccer is becoming an increasingly popular sport amongst females. This increase also brings an increase in injuries, most notably to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). ACL injuries tend to occur during rapid acceleration and deceleration movements such as jumping. Jumping to head the ball in soccer is a common and useful movement, however, the specific landing mechanics have not been fully investigated. The purpose of this study is to analyze differences between soccer-specific vertical jump (SSVJ) and drop vertical jump (DVJ) landings, assessing 3-D lower extremity kinematics and kinetics, ground reaction forces (GRFs), and muscle activation patterns in female soccer athletes to identify the risk for ACL injury in header landings. 12 females (18-25) will participate in this study. 43 retro-reflective markers and 11 electromyography (EMG) electrodes will be attached to specific body landmarks. Participants will complete a modified dynamic warm-up before completing a series of jumps. DVJ’s and SSVJ’s will begin standing on top of a 31cm box. In DVJ’s, participants will step down, land, and immediately jump up at 100% effort before landing again. In SSVJ’s, participants will step down and upon landing, jump up to head a soccer ball suspended in the air at 50% of their maximum vertical jump height before landing again. Maximum voluntary isometric contractions will be performed using dynamometers for knee flexion and extension, ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, and hip extension and abduction. The current study has collected data for 5 participants and is still in progress. Statistical analyses and discussion will be finalized upon completion of the study.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Henry Wang
Biomechanics Department, School of Kinesiology