Special Issue "Kinetic Assessment of Vertical Jumping: Application to Training and Monitoring Athletes"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. John J. McMahon

Centre for Health Sciences Research, University of Salford, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44(0)161 295 3892
Interests: sport and exercise biomechanics; strength and conditioning; vertical jump testing and training; lower limb muscle-tendon function during athletic tasks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vertical jumping (namely squat, countermovement, and drop vertical jumping) is widely used as a method for training and monitoring athletes in a range of sports. Force platforms are being increasingly used to assess vertical jumping performance, in both research and applied settings, due to their ability to illustrate the kinetic and kinematic (through numerical integration of force-time records) strategies employed to achieve a given jump height. Quantifying a vertical jumping strategy is, indeed, considered to be more useful to athlete training and monitoring than calculating jump height alone; however, there is a distinct lack of rigorous applied scientific studies that have included such detailed data analyses.

The aim of this Special Issue is to expand on this area of research by providing new insights into kinetic assessment of vertical jumping, as it applies to both training and monitoring athletes. The studies published within this Special Issue should help applied practitioners and researchers to: 1) establish robust vertical jump kinetic assessment methods; 2) identify practically meaningful kinetic and kinematic vertical jump variables; and 3) understand how the latter change both acutely (e.g., in response to acute training factors, such as volume/load/coaching cues) and chronically (e.g., across a season or specific training/competition cycles).

Dr. John J. McMahon
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • jump testing
  • jump training
  • ballistic training
  • plyometric training
  • force-time
  • force-velocity
  • athlete monitoring
  • neuromuscular function
  • neuromuscular fatigue

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Surfing the Waves of the CMJ; Are There between-Sport Differences in the Waveform Data?
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
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Abstract
The ability to analyse countermovement jump (CMJ) waveform data using statistical methods, like principal component analysis, can provide additional information regarding the different phases of the CMJ, compared to jump height or peak power alone. The aim of this study was to investigate [...] Read more.
The ability to analyse countermovement jump (CMJ) waveform data using statistical methods, like principal component analysis, can provide additional information regarding the different phases of the CMJ, compared to jump height or peak power alone. The aim of this study was to investigate the between-sport force-time curve differences in the CMJ. Eighteen high level golfers (male = 10, female = 8) and eighteen high level surfers (male = 10, female = 8) performed three separate countermovement jumps on a force platform. Time series of data from the force platform was normalized to body weight and each repetition was then normalized to 0–100 percent. Principal component analyses (PCA) were performed on force waveforms and the first six PCs explained 35% of the variance in force parameters. The main features of the movement cycles were characterized by magnitude (PC1 and PC5), waveform (PC2 and PC4), and phase shift features (PC3). Surf athletes differ in their CMJ technique and show a greater negative centre of mass displacement when compared to golfers (PC1), although these differences are not necessarily associated with greater jump height. Principal component 5 demonstrated the largest correlation with jump height (R2 = 0.52). Further studies are recommended in this area, to reveal which features of the CMJ that relate to jumping performance, and sport specific adaptations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Portable Force Plates to Assess Vertical Jump Performance: A Metrological Appraisal
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to verify the metrological properties of portable force plates that are used to assess countermovement jump performance. While 88 participants (38 males, 50 females) were included in the agreement analyses, 84 participants (37 males and 47 females) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to verify the metrological properties of portable force plates that are used to assess countermovement jump performance. While 88 participants (38 males, 50 females) were included in the agreement analyses, 84 participants (37 males and 47 females) completed the reliability part of the study. This randomized crossover design suggests that portable force plates could be used interchangeably with a reference system. Indeed, the differences between both devices were all considered trivial (effect size (ES) < 0.20), and the mean bias was never greater than 3.41% in comparison to the reference system. In addition, the absolute and relative reliability parameters were found to be acceptable for clinical use, even when used on different floor surfaces. However, it was found that the ratio between flight time and contraction time (FTCT) showed questionable reliability when tests were conducted on different surfaces (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.49; coefficient of variation = 26.72%). Therefore, practitioners should be careful when installing the portable device on different floor surfaces in order to optimize the reliability and the ability to detect real change in the context of a countermovement jump monitoring process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Within-Subject Consistency of Unimodal and Bimodal Force Application during the Countermovement Jump
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
Countermovement jump (CMJ) force data are often time-normalized so researchers and practitioners can study the effect that sex, training status, and training intervention have on CMJ strategy: the so-called force–time curve shape. Data are often collected on an individual basis and then averaged [...] Read more.
Countermovement jump (CMJ) force data are often time-normalized so researchers and practitioners can study the effect that sex, training status, and training intervention have on CMJ strategy: the so-called force–time curve shape. Data are often collected on an individual basis and then averaged across interest-groups. However, little is known about the agreement of the CMJ force–time curve shape within-subject, and this formed the aim of this study. Fifteen men performed 10 CMJs on in-ground force plates. The resulting force–time curves were plotted, with their shape categorized as exhibiting either a single peak (unimodal) or a double peak (bimodal). Percentage-agreement and the kappa-coefficient were used to assess within-subject agreement. Over two and three trials, 13% demonstrated a unimodal shape, 67% exhibited a bimodal shape, and 20% were inconsistent. When five trials were considered, the unimodal shape was not demonstrated consistently; 67% demonstrated a bimodal shape, and 33% were inconsistent. Over 10 trials, none demonstrated a unimodal shape, 60% demonstrated a bimodal shape, and 40% were inconsistent. The results of this study suggest that researchers and practitioners should ensure within-subject consistency before group averaging CMJ force–time data, to avoid errors. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Validity of the Push Band 2.0 during Vertical Jump Performance
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract
The Push Band has the potential to provide a cheap and practical method of measuring velocity and power during countermovement vertical jumping (CMJ). However, very little is known about whether it conforms to laboratory-based gold standards. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
The Push Band has the potential to provide a cheap and practical method of measuring velocity and power during countermovement vertical jumping (CMJ). However, very little is known about whether it conforms to laboratory-based gold standards. The aim of this study was to assess the agreement between peak and mean velocity and power obtained from the belt-worn Push Band, and derived from three-dimensional motion capture, and vertical force from an in-ground force platform. Twenty-two volunteers performed 3 CMJ on a force platform, while a belt-worn Push Band and a motion capture system (a marker affixed to the Push Band) simultaneously recorded data that enabled peak and mean velocity and power to be calculated and then compared using ordinary least products regression. While the Push Band is reliable, it tends to overestimate peak (9–17%) and mean (24–27%) velocity, and when compared to force plate-derived peak and mean power, it tends to underestimate (40–45%) and demonstrates fixed and proportional bias. This suggests that while the Push Band may provide a useful method for measuring peak and mean velocity during the CMJ, researchers and practitioners should be mindful of its tendency to systematically overestimate and that its measures of peak and mean power should not be used. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Plyometric Ability during Vertical Jumps Performed by Adults and Adolescents
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare different methods for assessing plyometric ability during countermovement (CMJ) and drop jumps (DJ) in a group of adults and adolescents. Ten resistance-trained adult men (age: 22.6 ± 1.6 years) and ten adolescent male basketball players [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare different methods for assessing plyometric ability during countermovement (CMJ) and drop jumps (DJ) in a group of adults and adolescents. Ten resistance-trained adult men (age: 22.6 ± 1.6 years) and ten adolescent male basketball players (age: 16.5 ± 0.7 years) performed a CMJ and a DJ from a height of 0.40 m. Jump height (JH), contact time, normalized work (WNORM), and power output (PONORM) during the absorption and propulsion phases were calculated from force platforms and 3-D motion analysis data. Plyometric ability was assessed using the modified reactive strength index (RSIMOD during CMJ) and the reactive strength index (RSI during DJ) as well as three indices using propulsion time, propulsion work (PWI), and propulsion power. Adults jumped significantly higher than adolescents (mean difference [MD]: 0.05 m) while JH (MD: 0.05 m) and ground contact time (MD: 0.29 s) decreased significantly from CMJ to DJ. WNORM (MD: 4.2 J/kg) and PONORM (MD: 24.2 W/kg) during the absorption phase of CMJ were significantly less than these variables during the propulsion phases of the jumps. The reactive strength index variants increased significantly from the CMJ to DJ (MD: 0.23) while all other plyometric indices decreased significantly. Neither RSIMOD nor RSI contributed significantly to the prediction of JH during CMJ and DJ, respectively, while PWI was able to explain ≥68% of the variance in JH. Variants of the reactive strength index do not reflect the changes in mechanical variables during the ground contact phase of CMJ and DJ and may not provide an accurate assessment of plyometric ability during different vertical jumps. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Larger Countermovement Increases the Jump Height of Countermovement Jump
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 21 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
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Abstract
Simulation studies show that jump performance can be improved by increasing the depth of countermovement. The purpose of this study was to determine how modifications to the depth of countermovement lead to changes in jump height and the biomechanical parameters related to center [...] Read more.
Simulation studies show that jump performance can be improved by increasing the depth of countermovement. The purpose of this study was to determine how modifications to the depth of countermovement lead to changes in jump height and the biomechanical parameters related to center of mass displacement and force application. Twenty-nine competitive males participated in this investigation, performing nine countermovement jumps using a self-selected, a deep, and a shallow crouch position. Jump height and relative net vertical impulse were greater when using a deeper crouch position, compared to the self-selected position. Force application variables did not report differences, when the deeper countermovement was compared to the self-selected countermovement; although, the shallower countermovement showed higher values in force application parameters. The deeper countermovement jumps achieved higher velocities of the center of mass than the self-selected jumps, while shallower jumps produced lower velocities than the self-selected jumps. The results of this investigation were consistent with simulation studies, showing that deep countermovements increase net vertical impulse, leading to a higher jump height. In addition, the maximum downward velocity was higher, when the crouch position was deeper. Conversely, force-applied variables did not change when jump performance was increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Drop Jumps and Jump Squats to Assess Eccentric and Concentric Force-Velocity Characteristics
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the eccentric and concentric force-velocity (Fv) characteristics recorded during drop jumps (DJ) from different heights and loaded jump squats (JS) and to determine the number of jumps required to accurately model the eccentric and concentric [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the eccentric and concentric force-velocity (Fv) characteristics recorded during drop jumps (DJ) from different heights and loaded jump squats (JS) and to determine the number of jumps required to accurately model the eccentric and concentric Fv relationships. Fourteen resistance-trained men (age: 21.9 ± 1.8 years) performed a countermovement jump (CMJ) and DJ from heights of 0.40, 0.60, and 0.80 m. JS with loads equivalent to 0%, 27%, 56%, and 85% 1-repetition maximum were performed in a separate session. Force platforms and a 3-D motion analysis system were used to record the average force ( F ¯ ) and velocity ( v ¯ ) during the absorption (CMJ, DJ40, DJ60, DJ80) and propulsion (JS0, JS27, JS56, JS85) phases of the jumps. Eccentric (absorption phase) and concentric (propulsion phase) Fv characteristics were then calculated and linear regression equations were determined when the number of jumps included was varied. F ¯ during the absorption phase significantly increased from CMJ to DJ60 while v ¯ increased significantly from CMJ to DJ80. The two-point method (CMJ, DJ80) resulted in a significantly lower y-intercept (mean difference [MD]: 0.7 N/kg) and a greater slope (MD: 0.7 Ns/m) for the eccentric Fv characteristics compared to the multiple-point method. F ¯ increased significantly and v ¯ decreased significantly with increasing external load in the JS conditions. The two-point method (JS0, JS85) resulted in a significantly greater y-intercept (MD: 1.1 N/kg) compared to the multiple-point method for the concentric Fv characteristics. Both DJ and loaded JS may provide means of assessing the eccentric and concentric Fv characteristics with only two jumps being required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Countermovement Jump Analysis Using Different Portable Devices: Implications for Field Testing
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the concurrent validity, test–retest reliability, and capacity to detect changes of four different portable devices used to measure a wide range of neuromuscular parameters derived from countermovement jump (CMJ). An accelerometric device (Myotest), a jump [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the concurrent validity, test–retest reliability, and capacity to detect changes of four different portable devices used to measure a wide range of neuromuscular parameters derived from countermovement jump (CMJ). An accelerometric device (Myotest), a jump mat (Ergojump), an optical device (Optojump), and a smartphone app (MyJump) were simultaneously examined for concurrent validity against gold-standard measures (motion-capture system and a force platform). Twenty-two CMJ-derived variables were collected from 15 healthy male subjects (n = 60 CMJs). Contraction time (CT) and eccentric duration (EccD) measurements obtained from the Myotest were moderately to largely associated with and not different from force platform measurements (r = 0.31 to 0.64, ES = 0.11 to 0.18) and showed moderate test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.92 to 0.97, coefficient of variation (CV) = 3.8 to 8.0%). Flight time (FT) and jump height (JH) from Ergojump, Optojump, and MyJump showed moderate to strong associations with gold-standard measurements (r = 0.57 to 0.98) and good test–retest reliability (ICC = 0.54 to 0.97, CV = 1.8 to 4.2). However, all portable devices underestimated JH (ES = 1.25 to 2.75). Independent of the instrument used, the analyzed CMJ variables showed good capacity to detect changes (standard error of measurement (SEM) < smallest worthwhile change (SWC)), with the exception of rate of force and rate of power development parameters, which showed marginal capacity (SEM > SWC). The Myotest is preferable to measure temporal parameters during ground contact, whereas Ergojump, Optojump, and MyJump devices may be preferable to measure FT and JH, with the Optojump being the most accurate. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Reliability of and Relationship between Flight Time to Contraction Time Ratio and Reactive Strength Index Modified
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Countermovement jump (CMJ) force-time testing is commonly used to monitor seasonal alterations in athletes’ CMJ strategy (to infer alterations in neuromuscular function). The flight time to contraction time (FT:CT) ratio and reactive strength index modified (RSImod) are considered to be two [...] Read more.
Countermovement jump (CMJ) force-time testing is commonly used to monitor seasonal alterations in athletes’ CMJ strategy (to infer alterations in neuromuscular function). The flight time to contraction time (FT:CT) ratio and reactive strength index modified (RSImod) are considered to be two primary CMJ variables of interest. Due to similar calculations, it is likely that the FT:CT ratio and RSImod share similar reliability and an almost perfect relationship. Consequently, there may be no requirement to include both variables in CMJ monitoring reports. This study aimed to investigate this by recruiting twenty-five males to perform three CMJs on a force platform across two sessions that were separated by one week. The FT:CT ratio and two calculations of RSImod (based on the jump height from either flight time or take-off velocity) were then calculated using robust methods. The between-day reliability was good-excellent for all of the variables (95% confidence interval range of the coefficient of variation = 2.02–9.22%) with no significant between-day differences noted (p ≥ 0.231). There was an almost perfect positive relationship between the FT:CT ratio and RSImod regardless of the calculation method (r = 0.944–0.947, p < 0.001). As the FT:CT ratio and RSImod yield similar absolute reliability and share 90% of common variance, there is little reason to include both variables in CMJ monitoring reports. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Portable Force Plates: A Viable and Practical Alternative to Rapidly and Accurately Monitor Elite Sprint Performance
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract
This study aimed to examine the associations between a series of mechanical variables automatically generated by a portable force plate (PFP) and the actual performance of professional sprinters over a 150 m course. To test these correlations, 12 top-level sprinters performed vertical jumps [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the associations between a series of mechanical variables automatically generated by a portable force plate (PFP) and the actual performance of professional sprinters over a 150 m course. To test these correlations, 12 top-level sprinters performed vertical jumps (squat and countermovement jumps; SJ and CMJ, respectively), a 60 m sprint test, and a 150 m sprint test. Pearson product-moment coefficient of correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to determine the relationships between the sprinting velocities and vertical jump outputs. The SJ parameters were moderately to near perfectly associated with the different sprint distances, and the SJ height presented the highest correlation scores (r = 0.90 with velocities over 10- and 20-m). The correlation coefficients between the CMJ outcomes and sprint results varied between moderate and very large (from 0.38 to 0.88). Finally, the coefficients of determination (R2) ranged from 0.71 to 0.85 for the different multiple regressions involving PFP automatic measures. The PFP can provide practitioners with quick and accurate information regarding competitive athletes. Due to the strong correlations observed, coaches are encouraged to frequently adjust and tailor the training strategies of their sprinters, using practical and timesaving PFP measurements. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Is a Bimodal Force-Time Curve Related to Countermovement Jump Performance?
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
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Abstract
A countermovement jump (CMJ) represents one of the most frequently used performance tests for monitoring neuromuscular function in athletes. An often-overlooked feature that may provide some useful diagnostic information is the actual shape of the force-time curve. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
A countermovement jump (CMJ) represents one of the most frequently used performance tests for monitoring neuromuscular function in athletes. An often-overlooked feature that may provide some useful diagnostic information is the actual shape of the force-time curve. The aim of this study was therefore to consider how the shape of the force-time curve influences jump performance. Thirty-three male rugby union players performed two CMJs on a force plate, with discrete variables and continuous curve analysis used. The subjects were dichotomized based on shape of the force-time curve during the propulsion phase and by jump height. The differences between the unimodal and bimodal groups were unclear for jump height (ES = 0.28, ±0.58) and reactive strength index-modified (ES = −0.30, ±0.59). A substantial difference between high (40.2 ± 2.9 cm) and low (31.2 ± 3.2 cm) jumpers only existed in the late propulsion phase by 79.0% to 97.0% of the normalized force-time curve. A bimodal force-time curve is not representative of an optimal pattern of performance and simply reflects an inefficient stretch-shortening cycle. The inter-individual variability that exists in braking COM displacement renders temporal phase analysis impractical in cross-sectional type studies. Full article
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Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperBrief Report
Preliminary Scale of Reference Values for Evaluating Reactive Strength Index-Modified in Male and Female NCAA Division I Athletes
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this analysis was to construct a preliminary scale of reference values for reactive strength index-modified (RSImod). Countermovement jump data from 151 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I collegiate athletes (male n = 76; female n = 75) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this analysis was to construct a preliminary scale of reference values for reactive strength index-modified (RSImod). Countermovement jump data from 151 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I collegiate athletes (male n = 76; female n = 75) were analyzed. Using percentiles, scales for both male and female samples were constructed. For further analysis, athletes were separated into four performance groups based on RSImod and comparisons of jump height (JH), and time to takeoff (TTT) were performed. RSImod values ranged from 0.208 to 0.704 and 0.135 to 0.553 in males and females, respectively. Males had greater RSImod (p < 0.001, d = 1.15) and JH (p < 0.001, d = 1.41) as compared to females. No statistically significant difference was observed for TTT between males and females (p = 0.909, d = 0.02). Only JH was found to be statistically different between all performance groups. For TTT no statistical differences were observed when comparing the top two and middle two groups for males and top two, bottom two, and middle two groups for females. Similarities in TTT between sexes and across performance groups suggests JH is a primary factor contributing to differences in RSImod. The results of this analysis provide practitioners with additional insight as well as a scale of reference values for evaluating RSImod scores in collegiate athletes. Full article
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