To examine differences between ground-reaction-force (GRF)-based parameters collected from 5 types of plyometric push-ups. Between-trials reliability and the relationships between parameters were also assessed.
Thirty-seven highly active commando soldiers performed 3 trials of 5 variations of the plyometric push-up in a counterbalanced order: standard countermovement push-up (SCPu), standard squat push-up (SSPu), kneeling countermovement push-up (KCPu), kneeling squat push-up (KSPu), and drop-fall push-up (DFPu). Vertical GRF was measured during these exercises using a portable Kistler force plate. The GRF applied by the hands in the starting position (initial force supported), peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff, flight time, impact force, and rate of force development impact on landing were determined.
During standard-position exercises (SCPu and SSPu) the initial force supported and impact force were higher (P < .001) than with kneeling exercises (KCPu, KSPu, and DFPu). The peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff were higher (P < .001) in the countermovement push-up exercises ([CMP] SCPu, KCPu, and DFPu) than squat push-up exercises ([SP] SSPu and KSPu). Furthermore, the flight time was greater (P < .001) during kneeling exercises than during standard-position exercises. A significant relationship (P < .01) between impact force and the rate of force development impact was observed for CMP and SP exercises (r = .83 and r = .62, respectively). The initial force supported was also negatively related (P < .01) to the flight time for both CMP and SP (r = –.74 and r = –.80, respectively). It was revealed that the initial force supported and the peak GRF during takeoff had excellent reliability; however, other parameters had poor absolute reliability.
It is possible to adjust the intensity of plyometric push-up exercises and train athletes’ muscle power by correctly interpreting GRF-based parameters. However, caution is required as some parameters had marginal absolute reliability.