Landing Pattern’s and Knee Pain

Jumping and landing. Push off from the ground, get a bit of hang time, land on two feet and try to avoid falling over. Sounds simple, right? Well, did you know that when landing from a jump your knees can experience a force that is up to 5 times your own body weight! There’s another thing. Seventy percent of ACL injuries occur in non-contact situations that involve poor landing patterns. Now that complicates things.

Well that’s all well and good to know, but how should I be landing?

Great question interwebs! It’s all about correct force distribution throughout the lower limbs and torso. In order to get appropriate levels of joint loading, the body needs an ideal alignment.

The picture  below demonstrates poor knee alignment. As you can see right hip is turning inwards which is making the knee track inside the base of support. This position puts the greatest load on the ACL, dramatically increasing the risk of tear or rupture.

The next picture below demonstrates the safest landing position. When you look at the picture, it looks like the same position someone would be in if they were sitting on a motorbike.

For ideal landing pattern you need to remember the following key points;

  1. Feet shoulder width apart
  2. Rolling through forefoot
  3. Strong through torso
  4. Bend through knees and hips, sitting back in semi squat – motorbike stance
  5. Knees forward and outwards on landing

If you are unsure about your own landing pattern, give us a call and pop in for an assessment before you hurt your knee!


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