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The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a progressive variation in the speed of ascent would result in differences in the horizontal and vertical motions of the body center of mass (CM) and in the governing impulse-momentum relationship. A motion analysis system and two force platforms were used to examine the STS task among 10 healthy adults at each of three self-selected speeds. As the speed of ascent became faster, a progressively earlier time to the maximum vertical linear momentum and an increase in its magnitude occurred. In contrast, a relatively constant time to the maximum linear momentum, which was also the time when the propulsive impulse became the braking impulse, was found in the horizontal direction, and the propulsive impulse showed a disproportionately (1:3) smaller increase from slow to fast speeds than its vertical counterpart. The relative invariance in the horizontal motion suggested that different neuromuscular control strategies may have been employed in the horizontal and vertical directions to accomplish the different tasks of balance control in one direction and changing the gravitational potential energy in the other direction.