Push up, explosive push up and free fall tests to evaluate the upper body power: A preliminary study in aerobic gymnastics


  • Daniele Albano University of Salerno, Italy
  • Cristiana D'Anna University of Salerno, Italy
  • Rodolfo Vastola University of Salerno, Italy




Aerobic gymnastics, Push-up, Test, Force platform


Aerobic gymnastics is a competitive sport originating from traditional aerobics in which complex, high-intensity movement patterns and elements of varying difficulty are performed to music. A fundamental technique in this sport is the Push Up performed with different variations, in an explosive way and as a landing position from a jump. Given the importance of this technique and therefore of the strength of the upper limbs, the aim of this study is to apply the jump tests normally used for the evaluation of the lower limbs to the upper limbs. The study involved two gymnasts (age 16) Gold level of Italian Gymnastics Federation. Three specific tests have been performed: Push Up Jump Test (PUJT); Explosive Push Up Test (EPUT); Free Fall Test (FFT). Two force platforms were used to obtain the vertical component of the ground reaction force (GRF). Peak force (Fmax), rate of force development (RFD), symmetry index (SI), contact time (CT) and flight time (FT) were calculated. This type of analysis can provide useful information on the way in which the force is expressed by the upper limbs, furthermore the comparison between the two limbs can help to identify any asymmetries in pushing or in the management of the impact on landing. It is necessary to carry out further studies on a larger sample aimed at validating this type of test, however the information obtained can be used both to prevent injuries and to monitor and improve performance.


Download data is not yet available.


Abalo Núñez, R., Gutierrez-Sanchez, A., & Vernetta Santana, M. (2013a). Aerobic gymnastics injuries. Review article. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte, 13(49), 183-198.

Abalo Núñez, R., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, Á., & Vernetta Santana, M. (2013b). Analysis of incidence of injury in Spanish elite in aerobic gymnastics. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 19(5), 355-358. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922013000500011

Abalo-Núñez, R., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, A., Pérez, M. I., & Vernetta-Santana, M. (2018). Injury prediction in aerobic gymnastics based on anthropometric variables. Science & Sports, 33(4), 228-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scispo.2018.02.002

Alves, C. R. R., Borelli, M. T. C., de Salles Paineli, V., de Almeida Azevedo, R., Borelli, C. C. G., Junior, A. H. L., ... & Artioli, G. G. (2015). Development of a specific anaerobic field test for aerobic gymnastics. PloS one, 10(4), e0123115. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123115

Bohannon, N. A., Gillen, Z. M., Shoemaker, M. E., McKay, B. D., Gibson, S. M., & Cramer, J. T. (2020). Test-Retest Reliability of Static and Countermovement Power Push-Up Tests in Young Male Athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 34(9), 2456-2464. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003684

Chavda, S., Bromley, T., Jarvis, P., Williams, S., Bishop, C., Turner, A. N., ... & Mundy, P. D. (2018). Force-time characteristics of the countermovement jump: Analyzing the curve in Excel. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 40(2), 67-77. https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.0000000000000353

Chayun, D., Kletsov, K., & Manzheley, I. (2020). Acrobatics as a new trend in Aerobic Gymnastics. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 20(2), 759-767.

Dhahbi, W., Chaouachi, A., Cochrane, J., Chèze, L., & Chamari, K. (2017b). Methodological issues associated with the use of force plates when assessing push-ups power. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(7), e74. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001922

Dhahbi, W., Chaouachi, A., Dhahbi, A. B., Cochrane, J., Chèze, L., Burnett, A., & Chamari, K. (2017a). The effect of variation of plyometric push-ups on force-application kinetics and perception of intensity. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 12(2), 190-197. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0063

Ebben, W. P., Wurm, B., VanderZanden, T. L., Spadavecchia, M. L., Durocher, J. J., Bickham, C. T., & Petushek, E. J. (2011). Kinetic analysis of several variations of push-ups. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(10), 2891-2894. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e31820c8587

FIG (2021). Technical Regulations 2021. Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique.

Gillen, Z. M., Miramonti, A. A., McKay, B. D., Jenkins, N. D., Leutzinger, T. J., & Cramer, J. T. (2018). Reliability and sensitivity of the power push-up test for upper-body strength and power in 6-15-year-old male athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(1), 83-96. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002313

Hogarth, L., Deakin, G., & Sinclair, W. (2013). Are plyometric push-ups a reliable power assessment tool?. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, 21, 67-69.

Impellizzeri, F. M., Rampinini, E., Maffiuletti, N., & Marcora, S. M. (2007). A vertical jump force test for assessing bilateral strength asymmetry in athletes. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(11), 2044-2050. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e31814fb55c

Koch, J., Riemann, B. L., & Davies, G. J. (2012). Ground reaction force patterns in plyometric push-ups. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(8), 2220-2227. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318239f867

Mihaela, P. U. I. U., & Dragomir, A. (2021). Neuromuscular and physiological assessment during a vertical jumping test in aerobic gymnastics. BRAIN. Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 11(4Sup1), 156-166. https://doi.org/10.18662/brain/11.4Sup1/162

Núñez, R. A., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, Á., & Santana, M. V. (2015). Longitudinal study of sports injuries in practitioners of aerobic gymnastics competition. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 21(5), 400-402. https://doi.org/10.1590/1517-869220152105111866

Ol'ga, K., & Erika, Z. (2010). Modified aerobic gymnastics routines in comparison with laboratory testing of maximal jumps. Sport Scientific & Practical Aspects, 7(1).

Owen, N. J., Watkins, J., Kilduff, L. P., Bevan, H. R., & Bennett, M. A. (2014). Development of a criterion method to determine peak mechanical power output in a countermovement jump. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(6), 1552-1558. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000311

Parry, G. N., Herrington, L. C., & Horsley, I. G. (2020). The test-retest reliability of force plate-derived parameters of the countermovement push-up as a power assessment tool. Journal of sport rehabilitation, 29(3), 381-383. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2018-0419

Parry, G. N., Herrington, L. C., Horsley, I. G., & Gatt, I. (2021). The Test-Retest Reliability of Bilateral and Unilateral Force Plate-Derived Parameters of the Countermovement Push-Up in Elite Boxers. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 1(aop), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2020-0340

Street, G., McMillan, S., Board, W., Rasmussen, M., & Heneghan, J. M. (2001). Sources of error in determining countermovement jump height with the impulse method. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 17(1), 43-54. https://doi.org/10.1123/jab.17.1.43

Waller, M. (2016). Using counter-movement push-up as a field test for upper-body extensor power. Assiut Journal of Sport Science and Arts, 116(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.21608/ajssa.2016.70598

Zalleg, D., Dhahbi, A. B., Dhahbi, W., Sellami, M., Padulo, J., Souaifi, M., ... & Chamari, K. (2020). Explosive push-ups: from popular simple exercises to valid tests for upper-body power. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 34(10), 2877-2885. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002774


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Albano, D., D’Anna, C., & Vastola, R. (2021). Push up, explosive push up and free fall tests to evaluate the upper body power: A preliminary study in aerobic gymnastics. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 16(3proc), S973-S979. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2021.16.Proc3.13

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>