Volitional Spine Stabilization During a Drop Vertical Jump From Different Landing Heights: Implications for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Ram Haddas, Troy Hooper, C Roger James, Phillip S Sizer
Journal of Athletic Training 2016, 51 (12): 1003-1012

CONTEXT: Volitional preemptive abdominal contraction (VPAC) during dynamic activities may alter trunk motion, but the role of the core musculature in positioning the trunk during landing tasks is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether volitional core-muscle activation incorporated during a drop vertical jump alters lower extremity kinematics and kinetics, as well as trunk and lower extremity muscle activity at different landing heights.

DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study.

SETTING: Clinical biomechanics laboratory.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-two young healthy adults, consisting of 17 men (age = 25.24 ± 2.88 years, height = 1.85 ± 0.06 m, mass = 89.68 ± 16.80 kg) and 15 women (age = 23.93 ± 1.33 years, height = 1.67 ± 0.08 m, mass = 89.68 ± 5.28 kg).

INTERVENTION(S): Core-muscle activation using VPAC.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): We collected 3-dimensional ankle, knee, and hip motions, moments, and powers; ground reaction forces; and trunk and lower extremity muscle activity during 0.30- and 0.50-m drop vertical-jump landings.

RESULTS: During landing from a 0.30-m height, VPAC performance increased external oblique and semitendinosis activity, knee flexion, and knee internal rotation and decreased knee-abduction moment and knee-energy absorption. During the 0.50-m landing, the VPAC increased external oblique and semitendinosis activity, knee flexion, and hip flexion and decreased ankle inversion and hip-energy absorption.

CONCLUSIONS: The VPAC performance during landing may protect the anterior cruciate ligament during different landing phases from different heights, creating a protective advantage just before ground contact and after the impact phase. Incorporating VPAC during high injury-risk activities may enhance pelvic stability, improve lower extremity positioning and sensorimotor control, and reduce anterior cruciate ligament injury risk while protecting the lumbar spine.

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