The lolotte or drop-knee technique is a fundamental of rock climbing that particularly involves lower limbs, and especially knee joints. To the authors’ best knowledge, no biomechanical analysis of the lolotte seems to have ever been conducted, despite its widespread use. As a first contribution to this research topic, the present work deals with an athlete-specific kinematic analysis of the lolotte aimed at quantifying the hip and knee joint angle trajectories and knee ligament strains. A marker-based motion capture system was employed to track the execution of the lolotte on a purposely designed climbing structure. The marker trajectories were then used as input for a numerical simulation in the OpenSim program, where an athlete-specific musculoskeletal model was set up to perform an inverse kinematics analysis and obtain the joint angle trajectories as well as their ranges of motion. Further processing of the model allowed to estimate the strain of the knee medial collateral ligament. Such kinematic analysis revealed characteristic hip and knee joint angle patterns and highlighted a critical phase in which the knee is considerably abducted (increased valgus). As a consequence, the medial collateral ligament is remarkably recruited, thereby substantiating the claim diffused among climbers that drop-kneeing may cause ligament injury.

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