Optimal depth jump height quantified as percentage of athlete stature
Keywords:Kinematics, Kinetics, Lower extremity assessment, Plyometrics, Power
Purpose: An individual’s optimal depth jump platform height provides a resistive force which allows an athlete to rebound with substantial velocity resulting in maximum power exertion. The objective of this investigation was to show that the optimal platform height in a depth jump can be quantified as a percentage of individual body stature which can serve as measurable quantified value. Although athlete height is not highly correlated to power ability nor does a universal height exist, this value can provide a basis for a rehabilitation or strength and conditioning program. The desired intensity of a program can be prescribed as a percentage of the individual’s optimal drop height. Methods: Sixteen male participants (age = 21.7 ± 1.54 yrs., height = 177.7 ± 11.4 cm, mass = 77.7 ± 13.6 kg; mean ± SD) were tested in a depth jump through a range of platform heights based on percentage of the individual anthropometric data defined at 0-, 10-, 20-, 30-, 40-, and 50% of the participants’ stature using a 3-D motion capture system (Qualysis) and force plates (Bertec) to calculate power. Results: The optimal drop height was found to be 21.3 (±10.3)% of the participants’ heights for maximum peak power and 27.5 (±15.3)% for maximum average power. Conclusions: These results suggest that an individual optimal drop height does exist as a percentage of stature and could be applied to a rehabilitation or power-based training program using the drop height as a quantified basis allowing an athlete to gradually work toward their individual optimal drop height and exhibit maximum power.
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