July 2017

Gluteal effects on landing mechanics depend on activation, not just strength

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Gluteal muscle activation—not just strength—is significantly associated with landing biomechanics, according to research from High Point University in North Carolina.

In 20 female collegiate soccer players, investigators analyzed knee extension strength as well as surface electromyography of the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus muscles during a drop vertical jump landing.

Although strength was significantly associated with landing mechanics, gluteal activation also explained a considerable amount of the variance in certain measures. Gluteus medius activation just after landing explained an additional 16% of the variance in frontal plane hip motion, while gluteus maximus preactivation explained an additional 23% of the variance in knee internal rotation moment and 19% of the variance in knee external rotation moment.

“Currently there’s conflicting evidence about how hip strength relates to dynamic movement. We may be missing other important factors,” said Emma Zuk, formerly an undergraduate in the Department of Athletic Training at High Point and currently a graduate student at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, who presented the findings in June at the NATA meeting in Houston, TX.


Zuk EF, Boling MC, Whicker CR, et al. Influence of hip strength and activation on lower extremity landing biomechanics in female soccer players. J Athl Train 2017;52(6 Suppl):S89.

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