Do you run loudly?

Shhhhhh…quiet. Tread lightly and land softly. May your joints forever feel young.

  1. “Several of these programs instruct participants to land softly in an attempt to teach proper landing technique and reduce impact forces. Mandelbaum et al reported an 88% decrease in anterior cruciate ligament injuries in 1041 female subjects using soft landing cues”

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Seinfeld? Mandelbaum seriously?! This was the family of old guys in the hospital with Jerry that kept hurting themselves trying to lift the t.v. I thought it was funny.

What the above is saying is that the sound of your landing can directly indicate your injury risk. Don’t go jumping off buildings to test this theory! I won’t be held liable.


  1. “13% decrease in peak vGRF during a drop-landing task when 80 adult recreational athletes were instructed to listen to the sound of their landing…reduced by 24% in a stud in which 12 female recreational athletes were asked to land softly…”

What this means is that the softer you land the quieter you land. vGRF is vertical Ground Force Reaction (some people really hate it when I mix up the letters, but oh well…You know who you are!). This is it this way. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reactions. This means that if you land with a heavy load, the ground pushes back up at you with an equal load. If you absorb some of the load with your joints by bending, then the ground doesn’t push back as hard. Think of dropping a stick vertically from a specific height. The stick will actually bounce a little after it hits the ground, because the ground pushes back. Now do the same experiment with a wet noodle and you will get a totally different result. This may not be an exact science, but at least it makes sense to me. When you land quietly (wet noodle), you don’t get the jarring force from the ground as when you land loudly.

  1. “Initially, the participants were instructed to perform drop landings (with no instruction) to obtain a baseline, normal sound amplitude of landing…then instructed to …create a quieter or louder sound from this normal landing condition”

For those of you that perform high-intensity exercise of varying modes under time domains-based exercises, (I am unsure that if I use the word crossfit that I may be sued like those before me) such as box jumps, that this study will apply to you.

  1. “quiet-landing instruction results in significantly greater joint excursion at the ankle and knee when compared to a normal landing sound instruction”

Essentially, the quieter that you try to land, the more that you perform a squatting based movement on the land. The stiffer you land, the louder you are. The louder you are, the more force (think jarring) that your joints have to endure.

MORAL: Be quiet! Tread lightly!

Excerpts taken from: Wernli K, NG L, Phan X, et al. The Relationship Between Landing Sound, Vertical Ground REaction Force, and Kinematics of the Lower Limb During Drop Landings in Healthy Men. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2016;46(3):1945-199.



Categories non-professionals, Physical therapy, PTs, Written BlogsTags , ,

2 thoughts on “Do you run loudly?

  1. While landing softly is seemingly a good recommendation for injury prevention purposes, if we were to extrapolate that to running and/or jumping technique, wouldn’t it lead to decreased speed and jump height? The author of this article ( ) seems to think so, and in my opinion he makes some valid points about how increased speed is mostly due to applying greater force to the ground (although I concede that I haven’t read the research he cites beyond the abstract – still, his claims do make intuitive sense to me). Could this be one of those situations where training for injury prevention ≠ training for improved performance?

    Also, on a related note, JOSPT just published an interesting article about how abdominal bracing is related to higher vGRF during landing ( ). Again, I know I’m making a jump here but I think this again suggests that increased vGRF naturally occurs with higher intensity activities. I don’t know of any half-decent runner – or even jumper for that matter – who runs without bracing to some degree. I mean you simply have to brace to overcome the huge aerodynamic forces that you subject yourself to at high velocities! Thoughts?

    1. First, thanks for posting. I just did a quick internet search for landing softly and running speed and was able to find similar opinions on how this can improve performance.…701.6338.0.6445.….0…1ac.1.34.heirloom-hp..24.10.1419.l6sI8AaSWpM

      My point with this is that the opinions vary on how to best produce horizontal speed, but vertical speed (such as jumping) I would agree with you.

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