Risk of injury analysis in depth jump and squat jump


  • Curtis L. Tomasevicz University of Nebraska, United States
  • Jeffrey C. Woldstad South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, United States
  • David D. Jones University of Nebraska, United States




Kinematics, Kinetics, Knee assessment, Trunk assessment, Drop jump, L5/S1 vertebrae


Introduction: The depth jump (DJ) and squat jump (SJ) are accepted ways to assess and train power producing ability but are not without risk of injury. Methods: Sixteen male participants (age = 21.7 ± 1.54 yrs., height = 177.7 ± 11.4 cm, mass = 77.7 ± 13.6 kg) were evaluated for power exertion capabilities while being assessed for risk of injury in the knee and low back through a range of resistances based on a percentage of participants’ heights in the DJ (0% through 50%) and bodyweights for the SJ (0% through 100%). Two variables were used to assess the risk of injury in the knee: valgus angle and internal abduction moment (IAM). Four variables were used in the low back: compression and shear force at the L5/S1 vertebrae, intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), and erector muscle tension. Results: With increasing DJ drop height, participants showed increased risk of injury in the knee through the valgus angle and IAM. In the low back, significant correlation occurred between increasing drop height and the shear force and IAP while compression force and erector muscle tension were more correlated with the power exertion of the participants than the drop height. With increasing SJ resistance, no significant increased risk of knee injury was detected. However, all low back variables except the IAP were significantly influenced by the increased resistance. Conclusion: Risk of injury in the knee and low back can be strongly dependent not only on the type of jump, but also the amount of resistance. The resulting power exerted by the athlete can also influence the risk of injury.


Download data is not yet available.


Adams, M. A., & Hutton, W. C. (1982). Prolapsed intervertebral disc: A hyperflexion injury. Spine, 7(3), 184–191. https://doi.org/10.1097/00007632-198205000-00002

Adams MA. (2004). Biomechanics of back pain. Acupuncture in Medicine, 22(4), 178–188.

Anderson, C. K., Chaffin, D. B., Herrin, G. D., & Matthews, L. S. (1985). A biomechanical model of the lumbosacral joint during lifting activities. Journal of Biomechanics, 18(8), 571–584. https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9290(85)90012-0

Andersson, G. (1997). The epidemiology of Spinal Disorders. In Frymoyer, J.(Ed.) The Adult Spine: Principles and Practice. Philadephia. New York: Raven Press.

Ashby, B. M., & Delp, S. L. (2006). Optimal control simulations reveal mechanisms by which arm movement improves standing long jump performance. Journal of Biomechanics, 39(9), 1726–1734. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2005.04.017

Ashby, B. M., & Heegaard, J. H. (2002). Role of arm motion in the standing long jump. Journal of Biomechanics, 35(12), 1631–1637. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0021-9290(02)00239-7

Bobbert, M. F., Mackay, M., Schinkelshoek, D., Huijing, P. A., & van Ingen Schenau, G. J. (1986). Biomechanical analysis of drop and countermovement jumps. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 54(6), 566–573. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00943342

Brinckmann, P., Johannleweling, N., Hilweg, D., & Biggemann, M. (1987). Fatigue fracture of human lumbar vertebrae. Clinical Biomechanics, 2(2), 94–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/0268-0033(87)90134-3

Cesar, G. M., Tomasevicz, C. L., & Burnfield, J. M. (2016). Frontal plane comparison between drop jump and vertical jump: implications for the assessment of ACL risk of injury. Sports Biomechanics, 15(4). https://doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2016.1174286

Chaffin, D. B., & Andersson, G. B. J. (1991). Occupational biomechanics. Second edition (Vol. 2).

Eie, N. (1966). Load capacity of the low back. Journal of the Oslo City Hospitals, 16(4), 73–98.

Gallagher, S., & Marras, W. S. (2012). Tolerance of the lumbar spine to shear: A review and recommended exposure limits. Clinical Biomechanics, 27(10), 973–978. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2012.08.009

Genaidy, A. M., Waly, S. M., Khalil, T. M., & Hidalgo, J. (1993). Spinal compression tolerance limits for the design of manual material handling operations in the workplace. Ergonomics, 36(4), 415–434. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139308967899

Griffin, L. Y., Agel, J., Albohm, M. J., Arendt, E. A., Dick, R. W., Garrett, W. E., Garrick, J. G., Hewett, T. E., Huston, L., Ireland, M. L., Johnson, R. J., Kibler, W. B., Lephart, S., Lewis, J. L., Lindenfeld, T. N., Mandelbaum, B. R., Marchak, P., Teitz, C. C., & Wojtys, E. M. (2000). Noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injuries: risk factors and prevention strategies. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 8, 141–150. https://doi.org/10.5435/00124635-200005000-00001

Hansson, T. H., Keller, T. S., & Spengler, D. M. (1987). Mechanical behavior of the human lumbar spine. II. Fatigue strength during dynamic compressive loading. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 5(4), 479–487. https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.1100050403

Hasson, C. J., Dugan, E. L., Doyle, T. L. A., Humphries, B., & Newton, R. U. (2004). Neuromechanical strategies employed to increase jump height during the initiation of the squat jump. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 14(4), 515–521. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelekin.2003.12.004

Herrington, L., & Munro, A. (2010). Drop jump landing knee valgus angle; normative data in a physically active population. Physical Therapy in Sport, 11(2), 56–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ptsp.2009.11.004

Hewett, T. E., Myer, G. D., Ford, K. R., Heidt, R. S., Colosimo, A. J., Mclean, S. G., van den Borget, A. J., Paterno, M. V., & Succop, P. (2005). Biomechanical Measures of Neuromuscular Control and Valgus Loading of the Knee Predict Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Risk in Female Athletes A Prospective Study Biomechanical Measures of Neuromuscular Control and Valgus Loading of the Knee Predict Ant. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 33(4), 492–501. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546504269591

Hutton, W. C., & Adams, M. A. (1982). Can the lumbar spine be crushed in heavy lifting? Spine, 7(6), 586–590. https://doi.org/10.1097/00007632-198211000-00012

Koo, T. K., & Li, M. Y. (2016). A Guideline of Selecting and Reporting Intraclass Correlation Coefficients for Reliability Research. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 15(2), 155–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2016.02.012

Kumar, S. (1996). Spinal compression at peak isometric and isokinetic exertions in simulated lifting in symmetric and asymmetric planes. Clinical Biomechanics, 11(5), 281–289. https://doi.org/10.1016/0268-0033(96)00015-0

Kuzmits, F. E., & Adams, A. J. (2008). The NFL combine: does it predict performance in the National Football League? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 22(6), 1721–1727. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e318185f09d

Lees, A., & Fahmi, E. (1994). Optimal drop heights for plyometric training. Ergonomics, 37(1), 141–148. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139408963632

Lees, Adrian, Vanrenterghem, J., & Clercq, D. D. (2004). Understanding how an arm swing enhances performance in the vertical jump. Journal of Biomechanics, 37(12), 1929–1940. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.02.021

Lephart, S. M., Perrin, D. H., Fu, F. H., & Minger, K. (1991). Functional performance tests for the anterior cruciate ligament insufficient athlete. Journal of Athletic Training, 26, 44–50.

Mackala, K., Stodolka, J., Siemienski, A., & Coh, M. (2013). Biomechanical analysis of squat jump and countermovement jump from varying starting positions. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(10), 2650–2661. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e31828909ec

McGill, S. M., & Norman, R. W. (1987). Reassessment of the role of intra-abdominal pressure in spinal compression. Ergonomics, 30(11), 1565–1588. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140138708966048

McGill, Stuart M., Andersen, J. T., & Horne, A. D. (2012). Predicting performance and injury resilience from movement quality and fitness scores in a basketball team over 2 years. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(7), 1731–1739. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e3182576a76

Myer, G. D., Ford, K. R., Di Stasi, S. L., Foss, K. D. B., Micheli, L. J., & Hewett, T. E. (2015). High knee abduction moments are common risk factors for patellofemoral pain (PFP) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in girls: is PFP itself a predictor for subsequent ACL injury? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(2), 118–122. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2013-092536

NIOSH. (1981). Work practices guide for manual lifting. US Department of Health and Human Services, Technical Report Number: 81-122.

Nuzzo, J. L., & McBride, J. M. (2013). The Effect of Loading and Unloading on Muscle Activity During the Jump Squat. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(7), 1758–1764. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e318291b8b2

Osvalder, A. L., Neumann, P., Lövsund, P., & Nordwall, A. (1993). A method for studying the biomechanical load response of the (in vitro) lumbar spine under dynamic flexion-shear loads. Journal of Biomechanics, 26(10), 1227–1236. https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9290(93)90070-u

Pollard, C. D., Sigward, S. M., & Powers, C. M. (2010). Limited hip and knee flexion during landing is associated with increased frontal plane knee motion and moments. Clinical Biomechanics, 25(2), 142–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2009.10.005

Rodano, R. (1996). Gender Differences in Joint Momentand Power Measurements During Vertical Jump Exercises. ISBS-Conference.

Swartz, E. E., Decoster, L. C., Russell, P. J., & Croce, R. V. (2005). Effects of Developmental Stage and Sex on Lower Extremity Kinematics and Vertical Ground Reaction Forces During Landing. Journal of Athletic Training, 40(1), 9–14.

Tomasevicz, C. L., Hasenkamp, R., Ransone, J. W., & Jones, D. (2019). Optimal depth jump height quantified as percentage of athlete stature. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(3). https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2020.153.17

Van Lunen, B. L., & Kramer, L. C. (2010). Understanding and Preventing Noncontact ACL Injuries. In Athletic Training & Sports Health Care (Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp. 43–44). https://doi.org/10.3928/19425864-20101222-08

Waters, T. R., Putz-Anderson, V., Garg, A., & Fine, L. J. (1993). Revised NIOSH equation for the design and evaluation of manual lifting tasks. Ergonomics, 36(7), 749–776. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139308967940

Yoganandan, N., Ray, G., Pintar, F. A., Myklebust, J. B., & Sances, A. (1989). Stiffness and strain energy criteria to evaluate the threshold of injury to an intervertebral joint. Journal of Biomechanics, 22(2), 135–142. https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9290(89)90036-5

Yule, S. (2007). The Back Squat. Journal of UKSCA, 8, 20–23.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Tomasevicz, C. L., Woldstad, J. C., & Jones, D. D. (2022). Risk of injury analysis in depth jump and squat jump. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 17(4), 761–781. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2022.174.05




Most read articles by the same author(s)