Neuromuscular functioning of athletes and non-athletes in the drop jump

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1998 Oct;78(5):432-40. doi: 10.1007/s004210050442.


In many sports vertical jumping is important. This study compared neuromuscular functioning of the lower extremity muscles together with some kinetic and kinematic parameters before and during ground contact in drop jumps from two heights [0.4 m (DJ40) and 0.8 m (DJ80)] in 7 highly trained triple-jumpers and 11 physically active controls. The triple-jumpers jumped 32% higher in DJ40 and 34% higher in DJ80, had shorter braking and total contact times, and greater average and peak vertical ground reaction forces than the controls. In both drop jumps in the electromyogram pre-activity of the vastus lateralis and gastrocnemius muscles started earlier in the jumpers than in the controls. For the control group the increase in dropping height was associated with a decrease in the propulsion force, and resulted in more extended knee and ankle angles at touch down and more flexed angles at the deepest position than for the jumpers. All angular displacements for DJ80 were larger than for DJ40 in the control group. The triple jumpers and control subjects differed with respect to their neuromuscular functioning in the drop jump exercise and they responded in a different way to the increase in dropping height.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Leg / physiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*