Because the intensity of plyometric exercises usually is based simply upon anecdotal recommendations rather than empirical evidence, this study sought to quantify a variety of these exercises based on forces placed upon the knee. Six National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes who routinely trained with plyometric exercises performed depth jumps from 46 and 61 cm, a pike jump, tuck jump, single-leg jump, counter- movement jump, squat jump, and a squat jump holding dumbbells equal to 30% of 1 repetition maximum (RM). Ground reaction forces obtained via an AMTI force plate and video analysis of markers placed on the left hip, knee, lateral malleolus, and fifth metatarsal were used to estimate rate of eccentric force development (E-RFD), peak ground reaction forces (GRF), ground reaction forces relative to body weight (GRF/BW), knee joint reaction forces (K-JRF), and knee joint reaction forces relative to body weight (K-JRF/BW) for each plyometric exercise. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that E-RFD, K-JRF, and K-JRF/BW were different across the conditions (p > 0.05), but peak GRF and GRF/BW were not (p > 0.05). Results indicate that there are quantitative differences between plyometric exercises in the rate of force development during landing and the forces placed on the knee, though peak GRF forces associated with landing may not differ.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association