Purpose: This study investigated the kinetic and the kinematic differences in female athletes in single-leg static jumps in an aquatic environment compared with those performed on dry land.
Methods: Twelve healthy, junior national team handball players participated. Subjects completed a familiarization and a testing session. The subjects performed a series of single-leg jumps, dry land and aquatic with and without devices, which were randomized to avoid fatigue effects. Peak concentric force, rate of force development, impact force, and time of the jumps were determined using a force plate.
Results: Peak concentric force and rate of force development were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the aquatic jumps, whereas impact force was significantly (P < 0.05) lower. There was a shorter total jump time (P < 0.05) for the aquatic jump without devices, whereas the time required to reach peak force was not significantly different between the two environments, despite the greater resistance to movement in the aquatic medium.
Discussion: Aquatic jump exercises result in greater force production and rate of force development in the same amount of time with less impact and can thus offer a viable alternative to traditional dry-land jump exercises, which may also be beneficial for rehabilitating or aging populations. The benefits of this type of exercise include an exercise mode that can be performed without compromising speed while reducing the potential for joint injury.