The primary aim of this study was to determine reliability and factorial validity of squat (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ) tests. The secondary aim was to compare 3 popular methods for the estimation of vertical jumping height. Physical education students (n = 93) performed 7 explosive power tests: 5 different vertical jumps (Sargent jump, Abalakow's jump with arm swing and without arm swing, SJ, and CMJ) and 2 horizontal jumps (standing long jump and standing triple jump). The greatest reliability among all jumping tests (Cronbach's a = 0.97 and 0.98) had SJ and CMJ. The reliability a coefficients for other jumps were also high and varied between 0.93 and 0.96. Within-subject variation (CV) in jumping tests ranged between 2.4 and 4.6%, the values being lowest in both horizontal jumps and CMJ. Factor analysis resulted in the extraction of only 1 significant principal component, which explained 66.43% of the variance of all 7 jumping tests. Since all jumping tests had high correlation coefficients with the principal component (r = 0.76-0.87), it was interpreted as the explosive power factor. The CMJ test showed the highest relationship with the explosive power factor (r = 0.87), that is, the greatest factorial validity. Other jumping tests had lower but relatively homogeneous correlation with the explosive power factor extracted. Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that CMJ and SJ, measured by means of contact mat and digital timer, are the most reliable and valid field tests for the estimation of explosive power of the lower limbs in physically active men.
(C) 2004 National Strength and Conditioning Association