Neuromechanical Strategies Employed to Increase Jump Height During the Initiation of the Squat Jump

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2004 Aug;14(4):515-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2003.12.004.


The maximal height attained in a vertical jump is heavily influenced by the execution of a large countermovement prior to the upward motion. When a jump must be executed without a countermovement, as in a squat jump, the maximal jump height is reduced. During such conditions, the human body may use other strategies in order to increase performance. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of two strategies employed during the initiation of the squat jump: the premovement silent period (PSP), and the small amplitude countermovement (SACM). Fifteen elite male volleyball players (20.6 +/- 1.6 years) and 13 untrained males (20.2 +/- 1.7 years) performed 10 maximal effort squat jumps from identical starting positions. The electromyographic activity of the vastus lateralis and biceps femoris was measured in conjunction with the vertical ground reaction force and vertical displacement. It was found that the presence of a PSP or a SACM of 1-3 cm did not increase maximal squat jump height significantly (p > 0.05), in neither the highly trained athletes nor the untrained individuals. These results suggest that these strategies do not play a major role in the determination of jump height. Researchers have assumed that a squat jump is purely concentric, and that there are no facilitating mechanisms present that may influence the performance of the jump. This study provides evidence to support this assumption.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Sports / physiology
  • Videotape Recording
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology