July 2016

Upper body position during landing affects kinetics in basketball players

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

In basketball players, upper extremity ball handling positions affect lower extremity kinetics during landing and should be considered when designing injury prevention and rehabilitation protocols, according to research from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

Investigators analyzed the lower extremity biomechanics of 30 healthy young adults as they performed drop landings under four conditions: with hands on hips, holding a basketball at chest level with the arms crossed, at chest level with the arms extended, or with the ball raised overhead.

Landing while holding a ball with the arms across the chest was associated with significantly lower knee flexion moments than when the ball was overhead or when the hands were on the hips.

This suggests coaching basketball players to land from a rebound, for example, with the ball held close to the chest may decrease the risk of knee injury, according to Jatin P. Ambegaonkar, PhD, codirector of the university’s Sports Medicine Assessment Research and Testing Laboratory, who presented the findings in June at the NATA annual meeting in Baltimore, MD.


Ambegaonkar JP, Oladipo E, Caswell SV, et al. Changing ball-handling positions affects lower extremity moments during landing. J Athl Train 2016;51(6 Suppl): S194.

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