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Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(7):678-85. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2014.894577. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Changes in leg kinematics in response to unpredictability in lateral jump execution.

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a Department of Sport Science , University of Freiburg , Freiburg , Germany.


Lateral movements like cutting are essential in many team sport disciplines. The aim of the present study was to analyse adaptations in motor control in response to task unpredictability during lateral movement execution. Twelve subjects performed lateral jumps with different landing modalities (stable, sliding or counteracting) that were either known (predictable setting) or unknown (unpredictable setting) prior to movement execution. Results revealed that regardless of the landing modality, hip joint abduction was significantly greater in the unpredictable compared to predictable setting. Furthermore, during the sliding landing modality, hip flexion decreased from 211 ± 7° to 207 ± 7° and knee flexion decreased from 26 ± 4° to 24 ± 4° at the instant of ground contact in the unpredictable compared to predictable condition. During the stable landing modality, the knee joint abduction increased from -0.3 ± 6° to -3 ± 6° after initial ground contact in the unpredictable compared to predictable setting. The present results support our hypothesis that pre-programmed motor activity depends on the predictability of the landing modality during lateral movements. According to its adaptation in the frontal plane and in some extent in the sagittal plane, the hip joint seems to play the major role in the modulation of the pre-programmed activity for successful lateral jump execution in an unpredictable setting. However, these kinematic adaptations are concerning since these changes were associated with higher knee abduction during the stable landing modality and therefore with possible higher risk of injury.


Lateral reactive jump; feedforward motor control; knee injury; perturbation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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