Minimal additional weight of combat equipment alters air assault soldiers' landing biomechanics

Timothy C. Sell, Yungchien Chu, John P. Abt, Takashi Nagai, Jennifer Deluzio, Mark A. McGrail, Russell S. Rowe, Scott M. Lephart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The additional weight of combat and protective equipment carried by soldiers on the battlefield and insufficient adaptations to this weight may increase the risk of musculoskeletal injury. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of the additional weight of equipment on knee kinematics and vertical ground reaction forces (VGRF) during two-legged drop landings. We tested kinematics and VGRF of 70 air assault soldiers performing drop landings with and without wearing the equipment. Maximum knee flexion angles, maximum vertical ground reaction forces, and the time from initial contact to these maximum values all increased with the additional weight of equipment. Proper landing technique, additional weight (perhaps in the form of combat and protective equipment), and eccentric strengthening of the hips and knees should be integrated into soldiers' training to induce musculoskeletal and biomechanical adaptations to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury during two-legged, drop landing maneuvers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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