Urginowitsch, C., Tricoli, V., Batista, M., Rodacki, A. L., & Ricard, M. D. (2006). Influence of training background on jumping height. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1823.

"Jumping height is influenced by both muscle force production and motor control strategy. Power athletes should optimize both to achieve greater jumping heights". This study investigated if rate of force development is responsible for higher jumping ability in power trained athletes when compared to strength trained and physically active Ss. Males (N = 27) with distinct training backgrounds were divided into three groups; power track athletes (N = 10) with international experience, strength-trained athletes (N = 7) with experience in bodybuilding type strength training, and physically active subjects (N = 10). Ss performed a 1 RM leg-press test and five countermovement jumps with no instructions regarding jumping technique.

Power track athletes jumped higher than the strength-trained or physically active groups. The difference in jumping height was not produced by higher rates of force development. Instead, the power track athlete group had a greater center of mass excursion than the other two groups. The power track athletes and strength-trained groups had a high correlation between jumping height and the 1 RM test (r = .93 and (r =.89, p<0.05, respectively).

Implication. The rate of force development is irrelevant for achieving maximum jumping heights when there is no time constraint to execute the jump. How the mass of the athlete is moved seems to be more important.

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