Assessment of Muscle Activation in Landing Error Scoring System Performance in Collegiate Swimmers

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kelly Helm


Arts and Sciences


Exercise Science

ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2018


The Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) is a qualitative tool used to assess jump and landing biomechanics. The objective of this study was to compare the muscle activation in the right and left gastrocnemius muscles in collegiate swimmers while performing a LESS jump. The null hypothesis stated no significant differences would be found between right and left muscle activation levels, nor would differences be found between genders. Eighteen participants (M=9; F=9) volunteered to be pre-screened and assessed with the Functional Movement Screen™ and the LESS jump. Research took place at a small private university in the Midwest. During the assessment, surface electrodes were placed on the participants’ gastrocnemius muscles to record muscle activation while performing the LESS. Data was analyzed through Delsys EMGWorks® software. Root mean square (RMS) values of surface EMG signals were normalized to the highest RMS across the three trials. Combined means of eccentric and concentric muscle activation of each participant was calculated. Paired t-tests comparing right with left mean gastrocnemius muscle activation values for both males and females indicated no statistically significant differences. The null hypothesis is accepted; no significant differences were found at the p<.05 level of significance. The researcher concludes that the LESS may be a better tool for assessing jumping mechanic error of healthy athletes rather than muscular activation assessment.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Serena Badgley is a senior exercise science major, with human biology and psychology minors. Next year she will be attending University of Puget Sound to pursue a master's degree in occupational therapy.

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