Hans P. Wulf

Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jeff Bauer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John Foley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

James Hokanson, Ph.D.


Basketball is a sport that involves many impacts with the ground from various jumping tasks, such a dunking a basketball, rebounding, and shooting. Repetitive impacts with the ground have been related to many injuries that occur while playing basketball. The purpose of this study was to quantify expected peak ground reaction forces differences between one-footed and two footed landings when dunking a basketball. Eight recreational, Division II and III college male players were recruited (age 22.25 ± 2.38 yrs; height 195.42 ± 4.68 cm; mass 98.55 ± 16.98 kg) for the study. The testing was performed at the Institute for Human Performance at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY. Each participant needed to dunk three times while landing on one foot, and three more times while landing on two feet for the one and two handed dunks. Only three participants were able to perform a two-handed dunk, so descriptive analysis was done for the two-handed dunk trials. For the one-handed dunk trials, the two-footed landing strategy (M= 7.66 ± 1.57 BW) was significantly greater (p < 0.05) than the one footed landing (M= 6.2 ± 1.18 BW) strategy for peak ground reaction force. Impulse was significantly greater for the two-footed landing strategy (M= 719.23 ± 157.53 N∙s) when compared to the one-footed landing strategy (M= 602.83 ± 188.6 N∙s). For the two-handed dunk trials, the two-footed landing strategy had greater peak ground reaction forces (M= 8.98 ± 1.64 BW) and impulse (M= 927.29 ± 586.37 N∙s) than the one-footed landing strategy peak ground reaction forces (M= 6.4 ± 1.57 BW) and impulse (M= 527.75 ± 182.62 N∙s). The greater forces and impulses produced during the two-footed landing strategy are dispersed between both legs, which could lead to a lower predisposition of stress related injuries in this landing strategy.