Weight-bearing dorsiflexion range of motion and landing biomechanics in individuals with chronic ankle instability

Matthew C. Hoch, Kelley E. Farwell, Stacey L. Gaven, Joshua T. Weinhandl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Context: People with chronic ankle instability (CAI) exhibit less weight-bearing dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) and less knee flexion during landing than people with stable ankles. Examining the relationship between dorsiflexion ROM and landing biomechanics may identify a modifiable factor associated with altered kinematics and kinetics during landing tasks. Objective: To examine the relationship between weightbearing dorsiflexion ROM and single-legged landing biomechanics in persons with CAI. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Fifteen physically active persons with CAI (5 men, 10 women; age = 21.9 ± 2.1 years, height = 168.7 ± 9.0 cm, mass = 69.4 ± 13.3 kg) participated. Intervention(s): Participants performed dorsiflexion ROM and single-legged landings from a 40-cm height. Sagittal-plane kinematics of the lower extremity and ground reaction forces (GRFs) were captured during landing. Main Outcome Measure(s): Static dorsiflexion was measured using the weight-bearing-lunge test. Kinematics of the ankle, knee, and hip were observed at initial contact, maximum angle, and sagittal displacement. Sagittal displacements of the ankle, knee, and hip were summed to examine overall sagittal displacement. Kinetic variables were maximum posterior and vertical GRFs normalized to body weight. We used Pearson product moment correlations to evaluate the relationships between dorsiflexion ROM and landing biomechanics. Correlations (r) were interpreted as weak (0.00-0.40), moderate (0.41-0.69), or strong (0.70-1.00). The coefficient of determination (r2) was used to determine the amount of explained variance among variables. Results: Static dorsiflexion ROM was moderately correlated with maximum dorsiflexion (r = 0.49, r2 = 0.24), ankle displacement (r = 0.47, r2 = 0.22), and total displacement (r = 0.67, r2 = 0.45) during landing. Dorsiflexion ROM measured statically and during landing demonstrated moderate to strong correlations with maximum knee (r = 0.69-0.74, r2 = 0.47-0.55) and hip (r = 0.50-0.64, r2 = 0.25-0.40) flexion, hip (r = 0.53-0.55, r2 = 0.28-0.30) and knee (r = 0.53-0.70, r2 = 0.28-0.49) displacement, and vertical GRF (-0.47-0.50, r2 = 0.22-0.25). Conclusions: Dorsiflexion ROM was moderately to strongly related to sagittal-plane kinematics and maximum vertical GRF during single-legged landing in persons with CAI. Persons with less dorsiflexion ROM demonstrated a more erect landing posture and greater GRF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-839
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.


  • Ankle sprain
  • Drop landing
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Neuromuscular control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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