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Neuromuscular Characteristics of Drop and Hurdle Jumps With Different Types of Landings

Cappa, Dario F.1,2; Behm, David G.1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 11 - p 3011–3020
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31828c28b3
Original Research

Abstract: Cappa, DF and Behm, DG. Neuromuscular characteristics of drop and hurdle jumps with different types of landings. J Strength Cond Res 27(11): 3011–3020, 2013—The objective of this study was to compare drop (DJ) and hurdle jumps using a preferred, flat foot (FLAT) and forefoot (FORE) landing technique. Countermovement jump height was used to establish the hurdle and the DJ heights. The subjects performed forward hurdles and vertical DJs on a force plate. Measures included vertical ground reaction force (VGRF), contact time, leg stiffness, and rate of force development (RFD). Electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured in the rectus femoris, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior, and gastrocnemius during 3 phases: preactivity, eccentric phase, and concentric phase. All the kinetic variables favored hurdles over DJs. Specifically, hurdle-preferred technique and FORE exhibited the shortest contact time and DJ FLAT the longest. The VGRF was higher in hurdle preferred and FORE than in DJ preferred, FLAT, and FORE. For stiffness and RFD, hurdle preferred and FORE were higher than DJ preferred and FLAT. Hurdle jumps showed higher rectus femoris EMG activity than DJ did during preactivity and eccentric phases but lower activity during the concentric phase. Considering the type of landing, FLAT generally demonstrated the greatest EMG activity. During the concentric phase, DJ exhibited higher rectus femoris EMG activity. Biceps femoris activity was higher with hurdles in all the phases. Gastrocnemius showed the highest EMG activity during the concentric phase, and during the eccentric phase, hurdle preferred and FORE showed the highest results. In conclusion, the hurdle FORE technique was the most powerful type of jump.

1School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's Newfoundland, Canada; and

2Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Catamarca, Catamarca, Argentina

Address correspondence to David G. Behm, dbehm@mun.ca.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.