Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Knee News

Reducing Knee Injuries Using a Teaching Video

Tennis players and golfers use videotapes of experts to improve their swing. Can athletes do the same to learn how to land a jump without injuring their knees? That's the question asked by researchers in this study.

College-aged athletes were divided into four groups. Group one (expert group) watched an instructional videotape of an expert trained in proper landing methods. They were given a checklist of things to try and copy. For example, they were told to land with both feet at the same time. The landing should be done with the knees in the middle (not turned in and not turned out). Just the right amount of hip and knee flexion was advised.

Group two (self group) watched videotapes of themselves as they did three trials of a jump-land. Group three (combo group) watched both the expert and self-videos. Group four(control group) got no instruction or advice.

Before watching the videos, each athlete was tested using a special testing device called a Jump-Ball (patent pending). This is called a baseline test. Each subject did three vertical jumps as high as he or she could. They landed on a force plate to measure ground forces. Subjects were re-tested right after watching the videos and again one week later.

The results showed that each feedback group made softer landings right away. The self-feedback and combo groups kept this skill longer when retested. The feedback groups also had more hip and knee flexion when landing. There weren't any big differences in the amount of flexion from one feedback group to another.

The authors conclude that learning is improved with visual demonstration and self-analysis. The more athletes become involved in studying and correcting their own mistakes the greater their chances of improving. Videotape instruction is a good way to do this.

James A. Onate, ATC, PhD, et al. Instruction of Jump-Landing Technique Using Videotape Feedback: Altering Lower Extremity Motion Patterns. In American Journal of Sports Medicine. June 2005. Vol. 33. No. 6. Pp. 831-842.


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