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The effect of angle on change of direction biomechanics: Comparison and inter-task relationships

Dos'Santos, Thomas and Thomas, Christopher and Jones, Paul A (2021) The effect of angle on change of direction biomechanics: Comparison and inter-task relationships. Journal of Sports Sciences. ISSN 0264-0414

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Abstract

The aim of this was study to examine the inter-task relationships and compare change of direction (COD) biomechanics between different angles (45°, 90°, and 180°). Twenty-seven men performed three COD tasks, whereby lower-limb and trunk kinematics and kinetics were assessed via 3D motion and ground reaction force (GRF) analysis. Key mechanical differences (p ≤ 0.025, η2 = 0.024–0.940) in velocity profiles, GRF, sagittal joint angles and moments, multiplanar knee joint moments, and technical parameters existed between CODs. The primary findings were that as COD angle increased, velocity profiles decreased (p < 0.001, d = 1.56–8.96), ground contact times increased (p < 0.001, d = 3.00–5.04), vertical GRF decreased (p < 0.001, d = 0.87–3.48), and sagittal peak knee joint moments decreased (p ≤ 0.040, d = 0.62–2.73). Notably, the greatest peak knee internal rotation (KIRMs) and abduction moments (KAMs) and angles were observed during the 90° COD (p < 0.001, d = 0.88–1.81), indicating that this may be the riskiest COD angle. Small to very large (r = 0.260–0.702) associations in KAMs and KIRMs were observed between tasks, indicating that evaluations at different angles are needed to develop an athlete’s biomechanical injury risk profile. The results support the concept that COD biomechanics and potential surrogates of non-contact anterior cruciate ligament injury risk are “angle-dependent”; which have important implications for COD coaching, screening, and physical preparation.

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