Background: A variety of athletic exercises are performed in sports training or rehabilitation after knee injuries. However, it remains unclear whether males and females exhibit similar joint loading during the various athletic motions. The purpose of this study was to identify gender differences in knee biomechanics during the athletic motions. Methods: Three-dimensional knee kinematics and kinetics were investigated in 20 recreational athletes (10 males and 10 females) while jumping rope, backward running, side running, side-to-side running, side-to-forward running, inside turning, and outside turning. The strengths of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, the knee joint force, the knee joint angle, and the knee joint moment were compared between males and females using one-tailed t tests. Results: Peak knee anterior force was greater in female recreational athletes than in their male counterparts during jumping rope, side-to-forward running, inside turning, and outside turning. Female subjects displayed greater peak knee abduction angles and greater peak knee flexion moments while jumping rope compared to their male counterparts. There were no significant differences between the sexes in knee kinematics and kinetics in the frontal and transverse planes during running and turning motions. Conclusions: Female recreational athletes exhibited significantly different knee biomechanics compared with male counterparts during jumping rope and turning motions.
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