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The effect of limb preference on braking strategy and knee joint mechanics during pivoting in female soccer players

Thomas, C and Dos’santos, T and Cuthbert, M and Fields, C and Jones, PA (2019) The effect of limb preference on braking strategy and knee joint mechanics during pivoting in female soccer players. Science and Medicine in Football, 4 (1). pp. 30-36. ISSN 2473-3938

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Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore whether limb preference influences braking strategy and knee joint mechanics during a 180° pivot task in female soccer players. Methods: Three-dimensional motion analyses of pivoting on the preferred and non-preferred kicking limbs were performed using 10 Qualisys ‘Oqus 7ʹ infrared cameras (240 Hz). Ground reaction forces (GRF) were collected from two AMTI force platforms (1200 Hz) embedded into the running track to examine penultimate (PEN) and final (FC) contact. Results: Both preferred and non-preferred limbs involved greater hip (ES = 2.85–3.81) and knee joint flexion angles (ES = 5.74–5.78) and peak vertical GRFs (ES = 0.87–1.61), but lower average vertical (ES = 2.55–3.01) and horizontal GRFs (ES = 3.05–3.67) during the PEN compared to the FC. Knee abduction angles were very likely greater (ES = 0.61) when turning off the non-preferred limb compared to the preferred limb. Conclusion: These findings may help us question the role of limb preference during pivoting, yet knee abduction angles and moments should be monitored with caution in female soccer players. Thus, it remains inconclusive the role limb preference plays in change of direction biomechanics for performance and risk of injury.

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