SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

Measurement of Strength and Loading Variables on the Knee During Alpine Skiing


This study focuses on the prevention of knee injuries during snow skiing. To develop a technology of knee injury prevention, both the strength and loading on the knee during skiing activity must be known. This paper reports measurements of variables influencing both knee strength and loading of the joint. The strength variables measured included the degree of activity in six muscles crossing the knee, the knee flexion angle, and the force along the tibia shaft. Transducers included surface electrodes to monitor electromyogram signals indicating the degree of muscle activity and a goniometer to measure both hip and knee flexion angles. The complete loading on the knee was derived from a dynamometer, which measured the six load components at the boot-dynamometer interface. The transducer data were acquired and stored by a compact, battery-powered digital data acquisition-control system.

Three male subjects of similar physical size (nominal was 1.8 m and 75 kg) and skiing ability (advanced intermediate to expert) were tested under similar conditions. Each subject skied a total of four slalom runs—one snowplow and three parallel. The total time of each test was 21 s. Example data plots from different types of runs are presented and discussed. Based on observations from the data, necessary performance features for ski bindings offering improved protection from knee ligamentous injuries are defined.

Author Information

Maxwell, SM
University of California, Davis, CA
Hull, ML
University of California, Davis, CA
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 231–251
DOI: 10.1520/STP19473S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5083-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1197-4