Bilateral contact ground reaction forces and contact times during plyometric drop jumping

Nick B. Ball, Christopher G. Stock, Joanna Scurr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drop jumping (DJ) is used in training programs aimed to improve lower extremity explosive power. When performing double-leg drop jumps, it is important to provide an equal stimulus to both legs to ensure balanced development of the lower legs. The aim of this study was to bilaterally analyze the ground reactions forces and temporal components of drop jumping from 3 heights. Ten recreationally active male subjects completed 3 bounce-drop jumps from 3 starting heights (0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 m). Two linked force platforms were used to record left- and right-leg peak vertical force, time to peak force, average force, ground contact time, impulse and time differential. Between-height and between-leg comparisons for each variable were made using a multivariate analysis of variance with post hoc Wilcoxon tests (p < 0.05). Results indicated that force and time variables increased as drop jump height increased (p < 0.0001). Post hoc analyses showed that at 0.2- and 0.4-m bilateral differences were present in the time to peak force, average force, and impulse. No bilateral differences for any variables were shown at 0.6-m starting height. The contact time for all jumps was <0.26 seconds. At 0.2 m, only 63% of the subjects had a starting time differential of <0.01 seconds, rising to 96.3% at 0.6 m. The results indicated that 0.6 m is the suggested drop jump height to ensure that no bilateral differences in vertical forces and temporal components occur; however, shorter contact times were found at the lower heights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2762-2769
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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