Drop Jumping on Sand Is Characterized by Lower Power, Higher Rate of Force Development and Larger Knee Joint Range of Motion

J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2022 Feb 4;7(1):17. doi: 10.3390/jfmk7010017.


Plyometric training on sand is suggested to result in advanced performance in vertical jumping. However, limited information exists concerning the biomechanics of drop jumps (DJ) on sand. The purpose of the study was to compare the biomechanical parameters of DJs executed on rigid (RIGID) and sand (SAND) surface. Sixteen high level male beach-volleyball players executed DJ from 40 cm on RIGID and SAND. Force- and video-recordings were analyzed to extract the kinetic and kinematic parameters of the DJ. Results of paired-samples t-tests revealed that DJ on SAND had significantly (p < 0.05) lower jumping height, peak vertical ground reaction force, power, peak leg stiffness and peak ankle flexion angular velocity than RIGID. In addition, DJ on SAND was characterized by significantly (p < 0.05) larger rate of force development and knee joint flexion in the downward phase. No differences (p > 0.05) were observed for the temporal parameters. The compliance of SAND decreases the efficiency of the mechanisms involved in the optimization of DJ performance. Nevertheless, SAND comprises an exercise surface with less loading during the eccentric phase of the DJ, thus it can be considered as a surface that can offer injury prevention under demands for large energy expenditure.

Keywords: balance; biomechanical analysis; impact; kinematics; kinetics; stretch shortening cycle; surface stability; vertical jumping.