Progress in micro-electromechanical systems has turned inertial sensor units (IUs) into a suitable tool for vertical jumping evaluation. In total, 9 men and 8 women were recruited for this study. Three types of vertical jumping tests were evaluated in order to determine if the data provided by an IU placed at the lumbar spine could reliably assess jumping biomechanics and to examine the validity of the IU compared with force plate platform recordings. Robust correlation levels of the IU-based jumping biomechanical evaluation with respect to the force plate across the entire analysed jumping battery were found. In this sense, significant and extremely large correlations were found when raw data of both IU and force plate-derived normalised force-time curves were compared. Furthermore, significant and mainly moderate correlation levels were also found between both instruments when isolated resultant forces' peak values of predefined jumping phases of each manoeuvre were analysed. However, Bland and Altman graphical representation demonstrated a systematic error in the distribution of the data points within the mean ±1.96 SD intervals. Using IUs, several biomechanical variables such as the resultant force-time curve patterns of the three different vertical jumps analysed were reliably measured.
Keywords: Vertical jump; biomechanics; inertial unit; validation.