CAN THE SPLIT-STEP CUTTING TECHNIQUE REDUCE LOADING AND MAINTAIN PERFORMANCE?

  • Grant Trewartha
  • Bridget Munro
  • Julie Steele
Keywords: running, cutting, ACL injury

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Cutting (evasive running) movements are integral to performance in many field- and court-based sports but have been associated with lower limb injuries. This injury risk is attributed to a combination of lower limb geometry and high forces acting together to stress anatomical structures, particularly at the ankle and knee joint. Alternative positioning of the stance foot and adjusted orientation of the lower limbs through changes to the cutting technique may reduce loading (e.g. Besier et al., 2001) but technique interventions for cutting have not been explicitly investigated in-depth. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the biomechanical characteristics of unplanned side-step (single foot contact) and split-step (double foot contact) cutting techniques, particularly relating to lower limb loading and ground reaction impulses generated during the primary cutting step. It was expected that the split-step would reduce joint loading and maintain performance requirements.