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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Richard Rutt, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Lori Avedisian, PhD, PT


The highest frequency of gymnastic injuries occurs during the landing phase from a gymnastic dismount It has been shown through epidemiological studies that the knee is at great risk for injury during landings. The more extended the angle at the knee joint during landing, the greater the impact force at the knee joint. Due to landing restrictions imposed by judging criteria, gymnasts are pressured to land beam dismounts with minimal knee flexion. In this position, the tibiofemoral joint compressive forces reach maximum magnitude. The purpose of this study was to analyze preferred knee flexion angles during the landing phase from a beam round-off layout dismount. It was hypothesized that gymnasts would perform a stiff landing, which was defined as less than 80° flexion at the tibiofemoral joint. Therefore, this study analyzed preferred knee joint angle upon landing from a beam round-off layout dismount. Data acquisition with the Peak5TM motion analysis system was performed on twenty-two level 9 female gymnasts with a mean age of 13.25 years. The mean tibiofemoral joint angle during the landing phase was 86.49°± 9.9°, with a range of 72° to 106.76°. The data suggests that gymnasts' preferred knee angle upon landing from a skilled beam dismount tends to be greater than 80°, which is defined as a soft landing.


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