No pain, no gain? Studies of the ideal way of making jump shots in handball

For handball players, ankle sprains are just part of life. But this may be about to change: Christian Peham and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have undertaken a detailed analysis of the three most important ligaments in the ankle. The group investigated the ligaments' movements and the strains to which they are subjected during the jump shot, the most frequent shot at goal. Peham's study is published in the Journal of Biomechanics.

Handball is one of the top four sports, at least as far as the risk of injury is concerned. In particular, the jump shot frequently causes sprained ankles, tears to the connecting the bones of the foot and the lower leg. One of the goals of is to minimize sporting injuries while also improving performance. To this end, many trainers and sports scientists are making increasing use of hi-tech methods, such as the computer modelling of moving joints.

Virtual ankle

To understand why the ankle is so prone to injury during the jump shot, a team of scientists headed by Christian Peham at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) has now investigated the stresses and to which the three most important ligaments in the ankle are subjected in a jump shot. Peham himself is Head of the Movement Science Group at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the work was performed together with researchers at the University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology. The scientists studied digitized videos of handball players in action in combination with an anatomically precise and movable of the human body. The measurements showed that there was more strain on the ligaments when the athletes land than when they jump. The ankle turned out to be particularly instable in the very short period of landing. Peham summarizes the findings, "When you land, there are additional strains on the ligaments that are hard to predict in advance and that have a particularly of causing injury."

Special training for fewer injuries

The results can be used as a starting point for the development of training techniques for handball players to help them reduce the risk of injury. Junior players could particularly benefit from improved training methods, as the new and improved movements could be learned from the very start. As Peham says, "If we understand the anatomy of the , its movements and the strains on it, we'll be able to given trainers tips on how to approach training to minimize the chances of injury."

More information: The article "The jump shot – A biomechanical analysis focused on lateral ankle ligaments" by M. Lindner, A. Kotschwar, R.R. Zsoldos, M. Groesel and C. Peham is published in the current issue of the Journal of Biomechanics (Vol. 45, pp. 202-206). www.sciencedirect.com/science/… ii/S0021929011006117

Provided by University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows lace-up ankle braces keep athletes on the court

Jul 08, 2011

Lace-up ankle braces can reduce the occurrence of acute ankle injuries in male and female high school basketball players, according to research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting ...

Chronic ankle pain may be more than just a sprain

May 01, 2009

Ankle sprains are a common injury after a fall, sudden twist or blow to the ankle joint. Approximately 40 percent of those who suffer an ankle sprain will experience chronic ankle pain, even after being treated ...

Recommended for you

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

1 hour ago

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.