Relationship of leg strength and power to ground reaction forces in both experienced and novice jump trained personnel

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1997 Aug;68(8):710-4.


Methods: There were 14 male soldiers who participated in this study examining the relationship of leg strength and power on landing performance. Subjects were separated into two groups. The first group (E, n = 7) were parachute training instructors and highly experienced in parachute jumping. The second group of subjects (N, n = 7) had no prior parachute training experience and were considered novice jumpers. All subjects were tested for one-repetition maximum (1 RM) squat strength and maximal jump power. Ground reaction forces (GRF) and the time to peak force (TPF) at landing were measured from jumps at four different heights (95 cm, 120 cm, 145 cm, and 170 cm). All jumps were performed from a customized jump platform onto a force plate.

Results: No differences were seen between E and N in either IRM squat strength or in MJP. In addition, no differences were seen between the groups for time to peak force at any jump height. However, significantly greater GRF were observed in E compared to N. Moderate to high correlations between maximal jump power and GRF (r values ranging from 0.62-0.93) were observed in E. Although maximal jump power and the TPF was significantly correlated (r = -0.89) at only 120 cm for E, it was interesting to note that the correlations between MJP and the time to peak force in E were all negative and that the correlations between these variables in N were all positive.

Conclusions: These results suggest that experienced parachutists may use a different landing strategy than novice jumpers. This difference may be reflected by differences in GRF generated during impact and a more efficient utilization of muscle power during the impact phase of the landing.

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Aviation*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / education*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*