So, are you up to speed with all the landing ground reaction forces (GRF) that your athlete’s experience and therefore should be prepared to handle? Previously, I mentioned the vertical GRF, and these are the forces that you should understand as they have the additive effect of your mass, how high you jump and the effect of gravity combining to provide a substantial musculotendinous overload on landing. You will note that the vertical GRF (A) sometimes has two peaks which indicates a toe (F1) heel (F2) landing pattern. Shorter rise times or steeper slopes to these peaks is indicative of greater stress on the musculoskeletal tissues.
Additionally, there are other GRFs you need to be aware of, namely – mediolateral (B) and anterior-posterior forces otherwise known as the horizontal GRFs (C). These landing forces take on more importance in various sports. For example, in sports such as netball and handball, the jump-landings can have a lot of forward propulsion, and therefore require substantial horizontal braking forces (C) to control and arrest the body’s forward momentum.
What does your preparation for landing program look like? For some ideas click here.