Abstract This study aimed to investigate whether treadmill versus overground soccer match simulations have similar effects on knee joint mechanics during side cutting. Nineteen male recreational soccer players completed a 45-min treadmill and overground match simulation. Heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded every 5 min. Prior to exercise (time 0 min), at "half-time" (time 45 min) and 15 min post-exercise (time 60 min), participants performed five trials of 45° side-cutting manoeuvres. Knee abduction moments and knee extension angles were analysed using two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (α = 0.05). Physiological responses were significantly greater during the overground (HR 160 ± 7 beats ∙ min(-1); RPE 15 ± 2) than the treadmill simulation (HR 142 ± 5 beats ∙ min(-1); RPE 12 ± 2). Knee extension angles significantly increased over time and were more extended at time 60 min compared with time 0 min and time 45 min. No significant differences in knee abduction moments were observed. Although knee abduction moments were not altered over time during both simulations, passive rest during half-time induced changes in knee angles that may have implications for anterior cruciate ligament injury risk.
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