Possessing good landing mechanics is important for the majority of athletes in todays world, from MMA athletes, to Basketball players.
However, due to the demands of their sport, the importance of landing effectively in long distance runners is critical. Landing with bad technique can place a great deal of stress throughout the kinetic chain and can end careers prematurely if this is not corrected.
Key points to focus on when landing:
- Soft Landing – the aim is the land as silently as possible.
- Feet – we want to land on our mid-foot. This ensures that the weight is centred and balance s optimised. This also allows us to absorb impact effectively, to then go on and produce force.
- Knees – we must make sure that our knees and toes are lined up straight in order to minimise the risk of injury, with the knees slightly bent. Should the knees draw inwards upon landing, this could increase the risk of injury by placing unwanted stress on ligaments such as the ACL and MCL.
- Hips – flexing the hips is vital in order to minimise the risk of injury and land effectively. As well as staying balanced, landing with our hips flexed will ensure some of the impact is absorbed through muscles such as the hamstrings and gluteals.
- Torso – the torso should be slightly flexed, but with the chest facing upwards. Just think if you had something written across your chest, you should be able to read it in the mirror upon landing.
All of these points are critical, as they ensure the body is able to land both safely, and effectively as well as being prepared for the next jump. It creates a solid base in which to generate the most amount of power, in the shortest amount of time when looking further ahead to plyometric and power drills.
Jamie Grange BSc (hons) GSR MSc CPT.