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Bradley Smith, Tina Claiborne and Victor Liberi

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of ankle bracing on vertical jump performance and lower extremity kinematics and electromyography (EMG) activity. Twenty healthy college athletes participated in two sessions, separated by a minimum of 24 hr. They performed five jumps with no brace on the first day, and five jumps with both ankles braced on the second day. An average of the three highest jumps each day was used for analysis. Braced vertical jump performance significantly decreased (p = .002) as compared with the unbraced condition. In addition, hip flexion (p = .043) and ankle plantar flexion (p = .001) angles were significantly smaller during the braced vertical jump. There was also a significant reduction in soleus muscle EMG (p = .002) during the braced condition.

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Masao Tomioka, Tammy M. Owings and Mark D. Grabiner

We previously reported that lower extremity muscular strength of older adults did not predict success of a balance recovery task. We propose that lower extremity coordination may limit performance independently of lower extremity strength. The present study was conducted to determine the extent to which knee extension strength and hip–knee coordination independently contribute to maximum vertical jump height. Maximum vertical jump height and isometric and isokinetic knee extension strength and power were determined in 13 young adults. Hip–knee coordination during the vertical jump was quantified using relative phase angles. Stepwise nonlinear multiple regression determined the variable set that best modeled the relationship between the dependent variable, maximum vertical jump height, and the independent variables of strength, power, and coordination. The quadratic terms of the normalized knee extension strength at 60 deg·s–1, and the average relative phase during the propulsion phase of the vertical jump, collectively accounted for more than 80% of the shared variance (p = .001). The standardized regression coefficients of the two terms, .59 and .52, respectively (p = .004 and .008), indicated the independence and significance of the contributions of knee extension strength and hip–knee coordination to maximum vertical jump height. Despite the pitfalls of extrapolating these results to older adults performing a balance recovery task, the results are interpreted as supporting the contention that while muscle strength confers a number of functional benefits, the ability to avoid falling as a result of a trip is not necessarily ensured. Increased muscle strength per se can occur in the absence of improved kinematic coordination.

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Mati Pääsuke, Jaan Ereline and Helena Gapeyeva

Knee extensor muscle strength and vertical jumping performance characteristics were compared between 14 pre-pubertal (11-year-old) and post-pubertal (16-year-old) boys. Post-pubertal boys had greater (p < .05) absolute values of maximal isometric force (MF) and rate of force development (RFD), absolute and body mass-related values of isokinetic peak torque of the knee extensor muscles at angular velocities of 60, 180, and 240° · s−1, as well as jumping height in squat, counter-movement, and drop jumps, than pre-pubertal boys. This study indicated an inability to use the positive effect of stretch-shortening cycle to vertical jumping performance in pre- and post-pubertal boys.

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Christine Bocchinfuso, Michael R. Sitler and Iris F. Kimura

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two semirigid prophylactic ankle stabilizers on vertical jump, 80-ft sprint, shuttle run, and four-point run performance. Eight male and seven female high school basketball players, who denied prior ankle injury and prophylactic ankle stabilizer experience, completed the four performance events under the conditions of Active Ankle Training Brace, Aircast SportStirrup, and nonbraced control. Data analyses consisted of four 1 × 3 ANOVAs with repeated measures on the independent variable of brace condition. Results of the analysis revealed no significant differences among the experimental conditions for any of the performance events tested. In conclusion, the Active Ankle Training Brace and Aircast SportStirrup did not facilitate or adversely affect performance involving speed, agility, and vertical jump of high school basketball players.

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Pablo Floría and Andrew J. Harrison

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of age on the use of arm swing in the vertical jump. Counter-movement jumps with arms (CMJA) and without arms (CMJ) performed by 36 girls and 20 adult females were examined using force platform analysis. The data were analyzed to determine differences between groups and between types of jump. The analysis of the data indicated that the arm action increased the jump height in both groups, although the increase was greater in children than adults (22.6% and 18.7% respectively; P < .05). This difference in jump height was due to a combination of a greater increase of the height at take-off in children compared with adults (40.6% and 21.6% respectively; P < .05) with no differences in the increase of the flight height. This increase in height of take-off was accompanied by an increase in the distance of propulsion in CMJA compared with CMJ (0.25 m and 0.23 m respectively; P < .05). The results suggested that children take advantage of the action of the arms in vertical jump differently than adults. The children improved their jump height by increasing height at take-off whereas the adults improved by increasing the flight height.

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Todd L. Allinger and Robert W. Motl

This study used a vertical jump model to simulate the push-off phase for a skater using klap speed skates and evaluated die effects of pivot location and shoe base flexion on energy production. Boards of different lengths and one board with a hinge under the metatarsal heads were attached to the running shoes of volunteers. Six skaters performed 3 maximal effort vertical jumps across 5 different base conditions: running shoe, board that hinged under metatarsal heads, and rigid boards that pivoted with the ground al -25 mm (typical pivot location for klapskales), 0 mm, and +25 mm from the toes. There were no significant differences in total energy at take-off among the 3 rigid base conditions, but there were differences in potential and kinetic energy production. The total and kinetic energy produced at take-off was 9% greater in the hinged base condition than the corresponding rigid base condition. If differences in energy measures from the vertical jump reflect those for skating, a hinged boot base could increase skating speeds by about 3% over the current klap-skales, which have a rigid boot base.

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Akinori Nagano and Karin G.M. Gerritsen

The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to systematically investigate the effect of altering specific neuromuscular parameters on maximum vertical jump height, and (b) to systematically investigate the effect of strengthening specific muscle groups on maximum vertical jump height. A two-dimensional musculoskeletal model which consisted of four rigid segments, three joints, and six Hill-type muscle models, representing the six major muscles and muscle groups in the lower extremity that contribute to jumping performance, was trained systematically. Maximum isometric muscle force, maximum muscle shortening velocity, and maximum muscle activation, which were manipulated to simulate the effects of strength training, all had substantial effects on jumping performance. Part of the increase in jumping performance could be explained solely by the interaction between the three neuromuscular parameters. It appeared that the most effective way to improve jumping performance was to train the knee extensors among all lower extremity muscles. For the model to fully benefit from any training effects of the neuromuscular system, it was necessary to continue to reoptimize the muscle coordination, in particular after the strength training sessions that focused on increasing maximum isometric muscle force.

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Loren Z.F. Chiu and George J. Salem

Potentiation has been reported in power tasks immediately following a strength stimulus; however, only whole-body performance has been assessed. To determine the acute effects of weightlifting on vertical jump joint kinetics, performance was assessed before, during, and after snatch pull exercise in male athletes. Jumping was assessed using 3D motion analysis and inverse dynamics. Jump height was enhanced at the midpoint (5.77%; p = .001) and end (5.90%; p < .001) of the exercise session, indicating a greater powergenerating ability. At the midpoint, knee extensor net joint work was increased (p = .05) and associated with increased jump height (r = .57; p = .02). Following exercise, ankle plantar flexor net joint work was increased (p = .02) and associated with increased jump height (r = .67; p = .006). Snatch pull exercise elicited acute enhancements in vertical jump performance. At the midpoint of the exercise session, greater work at the knee joint contributed to enhanced performance. At the end of the exercise session, greater work at the ankle contributed to enhanced performance. Consequently, potentiation is not elicited uniformly across joints during multijoint exercise.

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John Henderson, Brian C. Lyons, W. Steven Tucker and Ben Davidson

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of cloth wrap (CW) and ankle tape (TAP) techniques on vertical jump performance in 29 Division I football players. There was a significant reduction in vertical jump performance for both the TAP (76.2 ± 1.3 cm; t28= 6.5, p < .0005) and CW (77.3 ± 1.3 cm; t28= 3.9, p = .001) conditions as compared with the control (78.4 ± 1.3 cm). The TAP group also had reduced vertical jump scores as compared with the CW group (t28= 4.9, p < .0005). Both prophylactic techniques resulted in decreased vertical jump capability with the TAP having a greater negative impact than the CW.

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Marianne Haguenauer, Pierre Legreneur and Karine M. Monteil

To our knowledge jumping kinematics have never been studied in elderly persons. This study was aimed at examining the influence of aging on vertical jump performance and on interjoint coordination. Two groups of adults, 11 young men ages 18–25 years and 11 older men ages 79–100 years, were filmed while performing a maximal squat jump. Compared to young adults, jump height was significantly decreased by 28 cm in the elderly. Older adults spontaneously jumped from a more extended position of the hip. Results showed a decrease in hip, knee, and ankle linear velocity and angular amplitude with aging. The decrease in jump height was attributed to a decrease in explosive force and in the range of shortening of extensor muscles. In agreement with the literature, a proximo-distal coordination pattern was observed in young adults. Older adults used a simultaneous pattern. This may indicate that adults adjust their pattern of joint coordination as they age.