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J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jun;28(6):1552-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000311.

Development of a criterion method to determine peak mechanical power output in a countermovement jump.

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  • 11Applied Sports Technology Exercise and Medicine Research Centre, College of Engineering, Swansea University, United Kingdom; 2The England and Wales Cricket Board, London, United Kingdom; and 3Ospreys Rugby, Liberty Stadium, Swansea, United Kingdom.


There is a general agreement that the most valid method of measuring peak lower-body mechanical power output (LBPP) in a countermovement jump (CMJ) is by analysis of the corresponding vertical component of the ground reaction force (VGRF)-time history of the jump. However, there is no published standard protocol. The purpose of this study was to establish a standard protocol. The variables necessary to define a valid and reliable CMJ method were: (a) vertical force range, (b) force sampling and integration frequency, (c) method of integration, (d) determination of body weight (BW), and (e) determination of the initiation of the CMJ. Countermovement jumps off a force platform (FP) were performed by 15 male professional rugby players. The 5 variables were then optimized to maximize the reliability and validity of the measure of LBPP. Errors of <1% (p ≤ 0.05) in the measurement of LBPP were obtained using the following specification: (a) 6 times BW (using a 16-bit analog to digital converter), (b) 1,000 Hz, (c) Simpson's rule or the trapezoidal rule, (d) mean VGRF for 1 second of quiet standing immediately before jump signal, and (e) 30 ms before the instant BW ± 5 SD is exceeded after the jump signal. Peak lower-body power output was most sensitive to variables 4 and 5. It was concluded that this study has established a standard protocol for the criterion method of measuring peak power in a CMJ using an FP. As all other estimates and less reliable methods of determining LBPP in a CMJ rely on the FP method for calibration, it is proposed that this protocol be used as the basis of future criterion measures using a FP.

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