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Shortened Jump Training Course May Save Women Basketball Players' Knees

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 -- A shorter jump-training program may help reduce women basketball players' risk of knee injuries by improving their landing technique, a new study suggests.

Most jump-training programs are complex regimens that last six to eight weeks, but British researchers wanted to see if a shorter, more "user-friendly" program could offer similar benefits.

This study included 15 competitive women basketball players who did three jump-training sessions a week for four weeks. During the sessions, the athletes received coaching and feedback on appropriate landing technique.

By the end of the program, the athletes showed significant improvements in proper landing technique, meaning that their knees were straighter when they landed after a jump. They also had a nearly 75 percent improvement in distance on the crossover hop test, indicating increased strength and stability of the knee.

The findings appear in the December issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Female basketball players are particularly susceptible to knee injuries, especially to the anterior cruciate ligament. A larger study is needed to determine whether this shorter jump-training program could significantly reduce the high rate of knee injuries in this group of athletes, said the researchers.

More information

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about ACL injuries.

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Posted: December 2010