Lower limb muscle activity and kinematics of an unanticipated cutting manoeuvre: a gender comparison
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This investigation compared the amplitude and the timing of the muscle activity of the lower limb, as well as the three-dimensional kinematics of the hip, knee and ankle joints, of male and female elite soccer players performing an unanticipated cutting manoeuvre. These data were recorded for 15 female and 15 male participants for five successful cutting manoeuvres. For this manoeuvre to be performed in an unanticipated manner, the participants were instructed to execute one of three tasks, which were signalled to them with a target board composed of three different coloured lights. Female participants performed the cutting manoeuvre with greater lateral gastrocnemius activity in comparison with the male participants. It was also observed that they contracted their vastus lateralis to a greater extent than their vastus medialis, whereas the men adopted the opposite strategy. These neuromuscular control strategies adopted by the female athletes may elucidate the reasons for which women struck the ground with a more abducted knee during the cutting task. Given that this knee position places greater strain on the anterior cruciate ligament, a restoration of the medial/lateral activation balance of the lower limb muscles may reduce one’s risk of injury.
KeywordsKnee joint Anterior cruciate ligament Biomechanics Electromyography Kinematics Gender
This research was supported, in part, by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Grant Ref No: 106769-2006).
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