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PLoS One. 2017 Jan 12;12(1):e0169793. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169793. eCollection 2017.

High-Intensity Jump Training Is Tolerated during 60 Days of Bed Rest and Is Very Effective in Preserving Leg Power and Lean Body Mass: An Overview of the Cologne RSL Study.

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Sensorimotor Performance Lab, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.
Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.
Department of Sports and Sports Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.



Space agencies are looking for effective and efficient countermeasures for the degrading effects of weightlessness on the human body. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a novel jump exercise countermeasure during bed rest on vitals, body mass, body composition, and jump performance.


23 male participants (29±6 years, 181±6 cm, 77±7 kg) were confined to a bed rest facility for 90 days: a 15-day ambulatory measurement phase, a 60-day six-degree head-down-tilt bed rest phase (HDT), and a 15-day ambulatory recovery phase. Participants were randomly allocated to the jump training group (JUMP, n = 12) or the control group (CTRL, n = 11). A typical training session consisted of 4x10 countermovement jumps and 2x10 hops in a sledge jump system. The training group had to complete 5-6 sessions per week.


Peak force for the reactive hops (3.6±0.4 kN) as well as jump height (35±4 cm) and peak power (3.1±0.2 kW) for the countermovement jumps could be maintained over the 60 days of HDT. Lean body mass decreased in CTRL but not in JUMP (-1.6±1.9 kg and 0±1.0 kg, respectively, interaction effect p = 0.03). Resting heart rate during recovery was significantly increased for CTRL but not for JUMP (interaction effect p<0.001).


Participants tolerated the near-daily high-intensity jump training and maintained high peak forces and high power output during 60 days of bed rest. The countermeasure was effective in preserving lean body mass and partly preventing cardiac deconditioning with only several minutes of training per day.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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