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.
Pablo Floría (Corresponding Author) is with the Faculty of Sports and Computer, Department of Sports and Computer Science, Pablo de Olavide University Seville, Seville, Spain. Andrew J. Harrison is with the Biomechanics Research Unit, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.