When assessing biomechanics in a laboratory setting, task selection is critical to the production of accurate and meaningful data. The injury biomechanics of landing is commonly investigated in a laboratory setting using a drop landing task. However, why this task is so frequently chosen is unclear. Therefore, this narrative review aimed to (1) identify the justification/s provided within the published literature as to why a drop landing task was selected to investigate the injury biomechanics of landing in sport and (2) use current research evidence, supplemented by a new set of biomechanical data, to evaluate whether the justifications are supported. To achieve this, a comprehensive literature search using Scopus, PubMed, and SPORTDiscus online databases was conducted for studies that had collected biomechanical data relating to sport injuries using a drop landing task. In addition, kinematic and kinetic data were collected from female netball players during drop landings and maximum-effort countermovement jumps from the ground to grab a suspended ball. The literature search returned a total of 149 articles that were reviewed to determine the justification for selecting a drop landing task. Of these, 54% provided no explicit justification to explain why a drop landing task was chosen, and 15% stated it was selected because it had been used in previous research. Other reasons included that the drop landing provides high experimental control (16%), is a functional sports task (11%), and is a dynamic task (6%). Evidence in the literature suggests that the biomechanical data produced with drop landings may not be as externally valid as more sport-specific tasks. Biomechanical data showed that the drop landing may not control center of mass fall height any better than maximum-effort countermovement jumps from the ground. Further, the frequently used step-off technique to initiate drop landings resulted in kinematic and kinetic asymmetries between lower limbs, which would otherwise be symmetrical when performing a countermovement jump from the ground. Researchers should consider the limitations of a drop landing task and endeavor to improve the laboratory tasks used to collect biomechanical data to examine the injury biomechanics of landing.
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