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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Sep;24(9):2352-7. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181aff2cc.

Influence of initial foot dorsal flexion on vertical jump and running performance.

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  • 1Sport Medicine Unit, CRR, SuvaCare, Sion, Switzerland.


Several studies (on an inclined platform or with special shoes) have reported improved jump performance when the ankle was in a dorsiflexion (DF) position. The present study aims to test whether shoes inducing moderate DF modify vertical jump performance and energy cost. Twenty-one young, healthy female subjects (30 +/- 6 yr, 58 +/- 6 kg, O2max 45 +/- 3 mLxkg-1xmin-1, mean +/- SD) participated in the study. Jump performance was tested with subjects either wearing 4 degrees DF or standard (S) shoes. The jump tests (performed on a force platform) consisted of squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), and continuous jumps (CJ) during 15 seconds. Measured parameters were jump height, speed at take off, and maximal and average power. Oxygen uptake was measured on a treadmill while subjects ran at 95% of the anaerobic threshold during a 7-minute steady-state period. As compared with S shoes, DF shoes significantly improved the height of SJ (31 +/- 4 cm vs. 34 +/- 4 cm, p = 0.0001), CMJ (32 +/- 4 cm vs. 34 +/- 4 cm, p = 0.0004), and CJ (17.5 +/- 4.2 cm vs. 22.0 +/- 6.0 cm, p = 0.0001). Speed at take off was also significantly higher. Mean power significantly increased in SJ and CJ but not in CMJ. Oxygen uptake was not different between conditions (p = 0.40). Dorsiflexion shoes induce a significant increase in jump performance. These results are in accordance with the concept that a DF of the ankle may induce an increase of the length and strength of the triceps surae (higher torque). However, wearing DF shoes did not require more energy during running. Dorsiflexion shoes could be used to increase jump performance in several sports such as volleyball in which jump height is essential.

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