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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2014 Aug;24(4):508-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2014.04.009. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Quadriceps and hamstrings prelanding myoelectric activity during landing from different heights among male and female athletes.

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Laboratory of Neuromechanics, Federal University of Pampa, Uruguaiana, RS, Brazil.
Department of Physical Therapy, Technological Education Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia; Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Center of Ioannina, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece. Electronic address:


ACL tear is a major concern among athletes, coaches and sports scientists. More than taking the athlete away from training and competition, ACL tear is a risk factor for early-onset of knee osteoarthritis, and, therefore addressing strategies to avoid such injury is pertinent not only for competitive athletes, but for all physically active subjects. Imbalances in the prelanding myoelectric activity of the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles have been linked to ACL injuries. We investigated the effect of landing from different heights on prelanding myoelectric activity of the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles in recreational athletes. Thirty recreational athletes (15 male and 15 female) performed three bilateral drop jumps from two different heights; 20cm and 40cm while myoelectric activity of the vastus medialis, rectus femoris, biceps femoris and medial hamstrings were collected. When increasing the height of drop landing tasks prelanding normalized myoelectric activity of the quadriceps was increased by 15-20% but no significant changes were found for the hamstrings. Female athletes exhibited higher activity of the medial hamstrings compared to their male counterparts. We concluded that increasing the height of drop landing tasks is associated with increased myoelectric activity of the quadriceps but not the hamstrings in recreational athletes. These differences in muscle activity may be related to increased risk for ACL injury when the height is increased. Female athletes demonstrated higher recruitment of the medial hamstrings.


Anterior cruciate ligament; EMG; Knee injury; Muscle activity; Sport injury

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