Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Songning Zhang, PhD



340 HPER


KNS 332 Applied Anatomy
KNS 422 Biomechanics of Human Movements
KNS 531 Biomechanics
KNS 634 Advanced Methods and Instrumentation in Biomechanics
ES 513 Biomechanics of Orthopaedic Rehabilitation
KNS 662 Seminar in Biomechanics

Zhang is the director of Biomechanics/Sports Medicine Lab. His research interests are mainly focused on gait and cycling biomechanical characteristics and intervention of patients with total knee arthroplasty and osteoarthritis, cycling biomechanics and applications in clinical populations, biomechanical characteristics of sport surfaces and athletic footwear, musculoskeletal simulation and modeling for clinical applications, lower extremity injury mechanisms and prevention related to impact loading and attenuation, and ankle sprain mechanisms and effects of ankle orthoses. Zhang has received external research funding from adidas International, Smith & Nephew Inc., DeRoyal Industries, Inc., Schering-Plough Healthcare Product Inc., and Genesco, Inc. to conduct research projects on athletic and walking footwear, medical orthoses, medical walkers to name a few. His publications include work appearing in biomechanics, sports medicine, and medical journals, national and international proceedings in biomechanics, and two book chapters.  He has many presentations at national and international conferences in biomechanics and sports medicine.


PhD University of Oregon Exercise and Movement Science: Biomechanics and
Integrated Exercise Science: Motor Control and Computer Science
MA Shanghai University of Sports, Shanghai, China Sports Training (minor in Biomechanics)
BE Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China Physical Education

Zhang is the director of the Biomechanics/Sports Medicine Laboratory at the University of Tennessee. He is a visiting professor at the Shanghai University of Sports and at the Nanjing Sports Institute, China. He is also a fellow of ACSM and has also served on the several committees of American College of Sports Medicine.

He is currently an associate editor and a member of the editorial board for Journal of Sport and Health Science, and an associate editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. He has reviewed manuscripts for many peer-reviewed professional journals including the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Biomechanics, Gait and Posture, Clinical Biomechanics, Arthritis Care & Research, Journal of Sports Sciences, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, and Sport Biomechanics.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (* – corresponding author, # – senior author)
Thorsen, T.A., Strohacker, K., Weinhandl, J.T., and Zhang, S. *# (In press) Increased Q-Factor Increases Frontal-Plane Knee Joint Loading in Stationary Cycling, Journal of Sport and Health Science.

Valenzuela, KA, Zhang, S.*#, Schroeder, LE, Weinhandl, J, Cates, HE (2019) Increased knee loading in stair ambulation in patients dissatisfied with their total knee replacement. Clinical Biomechanics. 67 (July): 38-44.

Wen, C., Cates, H.E., and Zhang, S. #* (2019) Is Knee Biomechanics Different in Uphill Walking on Different Slopes for Older Adults with Total Knee Replacement? Journal of Biomechanics. 89 (24 May): 40-47.

Wen, C., Cao, X., Zhang, Y., Crouter, S., Wozencroft, A. and Zhang, S. #* (2018) Knee Biomechanics of Selected Knee Unfriendly Movement Elements in 42-form Tai Ji. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport. 18(6): 1050-1066.

Yocum, D., Weinhandl, J., Fairbrother, J., and Zhang, S.*# (2018) Effects of Wide Step Width on Knee Biomechanics in Stair Ascent in Obese Participants. Journal of Biomechanics. 75: 138-146.

Bennett, H., Weinhandl, J.T., Fleenor, K., Zhang, S.# (2018) Frontal Plane Tibiofemoral Alignment is Strongly Related to Compartmental Knee Joint Contact Forces and Muscle Control Strategies during Stair Ascent. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. 140(6): 061011 – 061011-8.

Shen, G., Zhang, S.#*, Bennett, H., Martin, J., Crouter, S.E., and Fitzhugh, G.C. (2018) Effects of Knee Alignments and Toe Clip on Frontal Plane Knee Biomechanics in Cycling. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 17(2), 312-321

Bennett, H., Shen, G., Cates, H., and Zhang, S.*#  (2017) Effects of Toe-in and Toe-in with Wider Step Width on Knee Biomechanics in Level Walking in People with Varus, Valgus, and Neutral Knee Alignments. The Knee. 24(6): 1326-1334. DOI:10.1016/j.knee.2017.08.058

Bennett, H., Zhang, S.*#, Shen, G., Weinhandl, J.T., Paquette, M.R.  Reinbolt, J. and Coe, D.P.  (2017) Effects of Toe-In and Wider Step Width in Stair Ascent with Different Knee Alignments. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. 49(3): 563-572.  DOI:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001140

Valenzuela, K., Bhaskaran, D., Hummer, C., Schefano, A. and Zhang, S.#* (2016) Effects of a Combined Inversion and Plantarflexion Surface on Knee and Hip Kinematics during Landing. Sport Biomechanics, 15(4): 429-439. doi:10.1080/14763141.2016.1174285

Bennett, H.J., Shen, G., Weinhandl, J.T., and Zhang, S. #* (2016) Validation of the greater trochanter method with radiographic measurements of frontal plane hip joint centers and knee mechanical axis angles and two other hip joint center methods. Journal of Biomechanics. 49(13): 3047-3051. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.06.013

Gardner, J., Klipple, G., Steward, C., Asif, I. and Zhang, S. #* (2016) Acute Effects of Lateral Wedge on Knee Biomechanics of Knee Osteoarthritis in Cycling. Journal of Biomechanics. 49(13): 2817-2823. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.06.016

Rasnick, R., Standifird, T., Reinbolt, J., Fitzhugh, G., Cates, C.H., Zhang, S#*. (2016) Knee Joint Loads and Surrounding Muscle Forces during Stair Ascent in Patients with Total Knee Replacement. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0156282. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156282

Fang, Y., Crouter, S., Fitzhugh, E., Gardner, J., and Zhang, S.*# (2016) Effects of Workload and Cadence on Frontal Plane Knee Load in Cycling. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. 48(2): 260-266.

Standifird, T., Saxton, A., Coe, D.P., Cates, H.E., Reinbolt, J.A. and Zhang, S. *# (2016) Influence of total knee arthroplasty on gait mechanics of the replaced and non-replaced limb during stair negotiation. Journal of Arthroplasty. 31(1): 278-283.

Qian, J., Rong, K., Qian, Z., Wen, C., and Zhang, S.* (2015) Effects of multi-channel dynamic functional electrical stimulation system on hemiplegic gait and muscle forces. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 27(11): 3541-3544.

Bennett, H., Brock, E., Brosnan, J.T., and Sorochan, J.C., and Zhang, S. *# (2015) Effects of Two Football Stud Types on Knee and Ankle Kinetics of Single-leg Land-Cut and 180° Cut Movements on Infilled Synthetic Turf. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 31(5):309-317.

Bhaskaran, D., Wortley, M., Chen, Q., Fitzhugh, E.C. Milner, C.E., and Zhang, S.*# (2015) Effect of a combined inversion and plantarflexion surface on ankle kinematics and EMG activities in landing. Journal of Health and Sport Science. 4 (4): 377-383.

Paquette, M., Klipple, G., Zhang, S. *# (2015) Greater Step Widths Reduce Internal Knee Abduction Moments in Medial Compartment Knee OA Patients during Stair Ascent. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 31(4):229-36.

Foch, E., Reinbolt, J., Zhang, S., Fitzhugh, E.C., and Milner, C.E. (2015) Associations between Iliotibial Band Injury Status and Running Biomechanics in Women. Gait and Posture. 41(2): 706-710.

Zhang, S.*, Chen, Q., Wortley, M.G., and Bhaskaran, D. (2015) Effects of an inverted surface and ankle brace on ankle biomechanics and ground reaction force during drop landing. Sport Science Research, 36(1): 1-10.

Gardner, J., Zhang, S*#, Liu, H., Klipple, G. Steward, C., Milner, C. and Asif, I. (2015) Effects of Toe-in Angles on Knee Biomechanics in Cycling of Patients with Medial Knee Osteoarthritis. Clinical Biomechanics. 30(3): 276-282.

Ma, H., Zhang, S. #, Zhang, X. (2014) Common Acupoints and Treatment Parameters of Acupuncture Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis. Medicina dello Sport. 67(4):653-68.

Brock, E., Zhang, S. *#, Milner, C.E., Brosnan, J.T., and Sorochan, J.C. (2014) Effects of Two Football Studs on Biomechanical Characteristics of Single-leg Landing and Cutting Movements on Infilled Synthetic Turf. Sport Biomechanics. 13(4): 362-379.

Standifird, T., Cates, H.E. and Zhang, S. *# (2014) Stair Ambulation Biomechanics Following Total Knee Replacement: A Systematic Review. Journal of Arthroplasty. 29: 1857-1862.

Gardner, J.K., Paquette, M.R., Milner, C.E., Brock, E., Zhang, S. # (2014) Gait Biomechanics of a Second Generation Unstable Shoes. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 30(4): 501-507.

Qian, J.Q., Li, Z., Zhang, H., Bian, R. and Zhang, S.* (2014) Effectiveness of Selected Fitness Exercises on Stress of Femoral Neck using Musculoskeletal Dynamics Simulations and Finite Element Model. Human Kinetics, 41: 59-70. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.2478/hukin-2014-0033

Paquette, M.R., Zhang, S. #, Milner, C.E., Fairbrother, J.T., and Reinbolt, J. (2014) Effects of increased step width on frontal plane knee biomechanics in healthy older adults during stair descent. The Knee. 21(4): 821-816.

Paquette, M., Klipple, G., Milner, C., Zhang, S.# (2014) Does increasing step width alter knee biomechanics in medial compartment knee osteoarthritis patients during stair descent? The Knee. 21(3):676-682.

Headrick, J. F., Zhang, S. #, Millard, R. P., Rohrbach, B. W., Weigel, J.P., and Millis, D. L. # (2014a) Use of an inverse dynamics method to describe the motion of the canine pelvic limb in three dimensions. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 75 (6): 544-553.

Headrick, J. F., Zhang, S. #, Millard, R. P., Rohrbach, B. W., Weigel, J.P., and Millis, D. L. # (2014b) Use of an inverse dynamics method to compare the three-dimensional motion of the pelvic limb among clinically normal dogs and dogs with cranial cruciate ligament–deficient stifle joints following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy or lateral fabellar–tibial suture stabilization. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 75 (6): 554-564.

Pfeiffer, J.L., Zhang, S., and Milner, C.E. (2014) Knee Biomechanics during Popular Recreational and Daily Activities in Older Adults. The Knee, 21(3): 683–687.

Powell, D.W., Williams, D.S.B, Windsor, B., Butler, R.J, and Zhang, S.  (2014) Ankle work and dynamic joint stiffness in high- compared to low-arched athletes during a barefoot running task. Human Movement Science. 34(1): 147-156.

Brindle, R.A., Milner, E.C., Zhang, S. and Fitzhugh, E.C. (2014) Changing Step Width Alters Lower Extremity Biomechanics during Running. Gait & Posture, 39 (1), 124-128.

Wortley M., Paquette M.R., Baumgartner L., Byrd E., Klipple G., Brown, L., Krusenklaus J. and Zhang S.* # (2013) Effects of resistance and Tai Ji training on mobility and symptoms of senior citizens with knee osteoarthritis. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2(6): 209-214. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.1016/j.jshs.2013.01.001

Wu, X. Zhang, S.*#, Liu, Y., Zhang, D. and Xie, B. (2013) Do knee eccentric strength and knee joint biomechanics and EMG differ between jumpers and non-jumpers in landing activities? Human Movement Sciences, 32(6): 1299-1309. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.1016/j.humov.2013.03.008

Zhang, X., Paquette, M. and Zhang, S.*# (2013) A comparison of gait biomechanics of flip-flops, sandals, barefoot and shoes.  Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 6:45.

Tate, J., Milner, C. E., Fairbrother, J., and Zhang, S. (2013) The effects of a home-based instructional program aimed at improving frontal plane knee biomechanics during a jump-landing task. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 43(7), 486-494.

Freedman, J.A., Milner, C.E., Thompson, D., Zhang, S. and Zhao, X. (2013) The Influence of Body Mass Index and Velocity on Knee Biomechanics during Walking. Gait & Posture, 37(4): 575-579.

Fu, W., Liu, Y., Zhang, S. (2013) Effects of Footwear on Impact Forces and Soft Tissue Vibrations during Drop Jumps and Unanticipated Drop Landings. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 34: 477-483. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.1055/s-0032-1327696

Thoms, A.W., Brosnan, J.T., Paquette, M.R., Zhang, S., and Sorochan, J.C. (2013) A New Device for Simulating Athlete-to-Surface Interactions on Natural and Synthetic Turf. Journal of Testing and Evaluation, 41 (3), 1-7. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.1520/JTE20120103

Westlake, C.G, Milner, C.E., Zhang, S. and Fitzhugh, E.C. (2013) Do Thigh Circumference and Mass Changes Alter Knee Biomechanics during Walking? Gait & Posture, 37 (3): 359-362.

Paquette M.R., Baumgartner L., Zhang S.# (2013) Acute effects of barefoot, minimal shoes and running shoes on lower limb mechanics in rear and forefoot strike runners. Footwear Science, 5 (1), 9-18. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.1080/19424280.2012.692724

Zhang, S.*, Paquette, M, Milner, C.E., Westlake, C., Byrd, E. and Baumgartner, L. (2012) An unstable shoe alters lower extremity biomechanics during level walking. Footwear Science, 4(3), 243-253. HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/19424280.2012.735258

Zhang, S.*, Wortley, M., Silvernail, J.F., Carson, D., and Paquette, M.R. (2012) Do ankle braces provide similar effects on ankle biomechanical variables in subjects with and without chronic ankle instability during landing? Journal of Sport and Health Science, 1 (2), 114-120.

Powell, D.W., Long, B., Milner, C.E., and Zhang, S. # (2012) Effects of Vertical Loading on Arch Characteristics and Intersegmental Foot Motions. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 28: 165-173.

Milner, C.E., Fairbrother, J.T., Srivatsan, A. and Zhang S. (2012) Simple verbal instruction improves knee biomechanics during landing in female athletes. The Knee, 2012: 19: 399-403.

Chen, Q., Wortley, M., Bhaskaran, D., Milner, C.E., and Zhang S.* # (2012) Is the Inverted Surface Landing More Suitable in Evaluating Ankle Braces and Ankle Inversion Perturbation? Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 22(3):214-220.

Powell, D.W., Clowers, K., Keefer, M. and Zhang, S.* # (2012) Alterations in neuromuscular activation patterns associated with walking in short-leg walking boots. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 1(1): 43-48.

Qian, J., Su, Y., Song, Y., Ye, Q. and Zhang, S.* (2012) A Comparison of a Multi-body Model and 3D Kinematics and EMG of Double-leg Circle on Pommel Horse. Journal of Human Kinetics, 31: 5-13.

Fu, W., Liu, Y., Zhang, S., Xiong, X., and Wei, S. (2012) Effects of local elastic compression on muscle strength, electromyographic, and mechanomyographic responses in the lower extremity. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 22(1): 44 – 50.