Improving Vertical Jump Profiles Through Prescribed Movement Plans

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Mayberry, JK, Patterson, B, and Wagner, P. Improving vertical jump profiles through prescribed movement plans. J Strength Cond Res 32(6): 1619–1626, 2018—Developing practical, reliable, and valid methods for monitoring athlete wellness and injury risk is an important goal for trainers, athletes, and coaches. Previous studies have shown that the countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) test is both a reliable and valid metric for evaluating an athlete's condition. This study examines the effectiveness of prescribed workouts on improving the quality of movement during CMJ. The data set consists of 2,425 pairs of CMJ scans for high school, college, and professional athletes training at a privately owned facility. During each scan, a force plate recorded 3 ground reaction force (GRF) measurements known to impact CMJ performance: eccentric rate of force development (ERFD), average vertical concentric force (AVCF), and concentric vertical impulse (CVI). After an initial scan, coaches either assigned the athlete a specific 1- or 2-strength movement plan (treatment group) or instructed the athlete to choose their own workouts (control group) before returning for a follow-up scan. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) revealed significant differences in changes to GRF measurements between athletes in the 2 groups after adjusting for the covariates sex, sport, time between scans, and rounds of workout completed. A principal component analysis of GRF measurements further identified 4 primary groups of athlete needs and the results provide recommendations for effective workout plans targeting each group. In particular, split squats increase CVI and decrease ERFD/AVCF; deadlifts increase AVCF and decrease CVI; alternating squats/split squats increase ERFD/CVI and decrease AVCF; and alternating squats/deadlifts increase ERFD/AVCF and decrease CVI.

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