Objectives: The purpose of the study was to examine gender differences in lower limb muscle activity during jump landing and rapid change of direction. Equipment and Methods: Surface electromyography (EMG) of the rectus femoris, biceps femoris and gluteus maximus were recorded for 10 male and 10 female basketball, volleyball or netball players performing five repetitions each of two tasks; 1) landing from a maximal height vertical jump and, 2) 45º rapid change of direction on their dominant leg. Independent sample t-tests were conducted to determine sex differences and paired samples t-tests were conducted to determine task differences in peak EMG muscle activity. Results: Rectus femoris muscle activity was significantly greater in females compared to males during jump landings and rapid change of direction. Biceps femoris muscle activity was significantly greater in males compared to females during jump landing. No significant gender differences in gluteus maximus muscle activity were found during jump landings or rapid change of direction. These findings suggest that significant differences in muscle activity of the quadriceps and hamstrings exist between males and females when performing jump landing and change of direction movements which may place females at greater risk of ACL injury compared to males, for example.
Hughes, Gerwyn and Dally, N, "Gender Difference in Lower Limb Muscle Activity During Landing and Rapid Change of Direction" (2015). Kinesiology (Formerly Exercise and Sport Science). 47.
Originally published in Science & Sports 30(3): 163-168.