Landing in netball: effects of taping and bracing the ankle.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of bracing and taping on selected electromyographic, kinematic, and kinetic variables when landing from a jump. METHODS: Fifteen netball players performed a jump, so as to land on their dominant limb on a force plate. Electromyographic activity was recorded from the gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, and peroneus longus muscles. Subjects were also filmed and measures of rearfoot motion were derived. RESULTS: Significantly less electromyographic activity (p<0.007) was observed from the gastrocnemius and peroneus longus muscle groups when subjects were braced. No other significant electromyographical findings were observed. Peak vertical ground reaction force and time to peak for vertical ground reaction force were not affected by bracing and taping, nor were the rearfoot and Achilles tendon angles at foot strike. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of bracing and taping on the selected biomechanics variables associated with landing was specifically limited to a reduction in muscle action, particularly for the braced condition. Netball players can be confident that the biomechanics of their landing patterns will not be altered whether they choose to wear a brace or tape their ankle joints.