Reach height and jump displacement: implications for standardization of reach determination

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):1596-601. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d54a25.


Vertical jump performance is often assessed using jump-and-reach tests. The exact procedure used for determining standing reach height and jump height has a large effect on the resultant displacement. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of 4 methods of standing reach height measurement and Vertec jump height measurement against 2 force plate methods of jump displacement determination (impulse and flight-time methods). Fifteen men with various training backgrounds performed 2 each of countermovement, restricted (no arm swing) and static start vertical jumps. Reach height was determined using 4 methods; either a 1- or overlapped 2-hand reach, flat footed or with plantar flexion. All jumps were performed on a force platform. The best jump of each type based on Vertec displacement was used for analysis. Repeated-measures of analysis of variance for each jump type was used for analysis with Bonferroni post hoc for pairwise comparisons of jump measurement style. All jump displacements for similar types were significantly intercorrelated with a minimum r-value of 0.84. Impulse vs. flight time was the only pairwise comparison of measurement type for which similar values were noted. The one-hand reach with plantar flexion was the method of reach that was closest to the impulse and flight-time methods, and thus should be the preferred choice when using jump-and-reach tests to determine jump displacement. In all cases, the Vertec overestimates the displacement of the COM based on force plate methods. When comparing groups of individuals from different data sets, one must consider both the method of reach height (if performed) and jump displacement to make valid comparisons. If plantar flexion with a 1-hand reach is not used during reach measurement, jump displacement will be erroneously high.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / standards*
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Young Adult