Jumping height in former elite athletes

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1999 Jan;79(2):197-201. doi: 10.1007/s004210050495.


To evaluate lower-limb explosive strength with respect to lifetime athletic activity, we measured vertical jumping height on a contact mat in former male runners (n = 28). soccer players (n = 31), weightlifters (n = 29) and shooters (n = 29) (age range 45 68 years). There were no statistically significant age-adjusted sport-group differences in jumping height, but differences by sport were evident among the subgroup of athletes without hip or knee osteoarthritis (n = 65) (P < 0.05). Thus, sports that increased jumping height also predisposed to lower-limb osteoarthritis. After adjustment for age and sport, the subjects without osteoarthritis jumped higher than those with osteoarthritis (n = 33) (P < 0.01). In a multiple linear regression analysis, age, reported hip and knee disability, and knee pain reduced jumping height. Hours spent in team-training during the past 12 months and the hours spent during their lifetime in power training were associated with improved vertical jumping height and together explained 41% of the difference among the subjects. The ability to jump even among athletes with hip or knee osteoarthritis would suggest that former elite athletes possess advanced lower limb muscle function.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Hip / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee / physiology
  • Leg / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Running / physiology
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology