Knee stiffness is a major determinant of leg stiffness during maximal hopping

Hiroaki Hobara*, Tetsuro Muraoka, Kohei Omuro, Kouki Gomi, Masanori Sakamoto, Koh Inoue, Kazuyuki Kanosue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding stiffness of the lower extremities during human movement may provide important information for developing more effective training methods during sports activities. It has been reported that leg stiffness during submaximal hopping depends primarily on ankle stiffness, but the way stiffness is regulated in maximal hopping is unknown. The goal of this study was to examine the hypothesis that knee stiffness is a major determinant of leg stiffness during the maximal hopping. Ten well-trained male athletes performed two-legged hopping in place with a maximal effort. We determined leg and joint stiffness of the hip, knee, and ankle from kinetic and kinematic data. Knee stiffness was significantly higher than ankle and hip stiffness. Further, the regression model revealed that only knee stiffness was significantly correlated with leg stiffness. The results of the present study suggest that the knee stiffness, rather than those of the ankle or hip, is the major determinant of leg stiffness during maximal hopping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1768-1771
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 7


  • Leg spring
  • Sports performance
  • Spring-mass model
  • Torsional spring model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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