The relationship between joint strength and standing vertical jump performance

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of joint strengthening on standing vertical jump height is investigated by computer simulation. The human model consists of five rigid segments representing the feet, shanks, thighs, HT (head and trunk), and arms. Segments are connected by frictionless revolute joints and model movement is driven by joint torque actuators. Each joint torque is the product of maximum isometric torque and three variable functions of instantaneous joint angle, angular velocity, and activation level, respectively. Jumping movements starting from a balanced initial posture and ending at takeoff are simulated. A matching simulation reproducing the actual jumping movement is generated by optimizing joint activation level. Simulations with the goal of maximizing jump height are repeated for varying maximum isometric torque of one joint by up to ±20% while keeping other joint strength values unchanged. Similar to previous studies, reoptimization of activation after joint strengthening is necessary for increasing jump height. The knee and ankle are the most effective joints in changing jump height (by as much as 2.4%, or 3 cm). For the same amount of percentage increase/decrease in strength, the shoulder is the least effective joint (which changes height by as much as 0.6%), but its influence should not be overlooked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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