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Vertical Jump and Leg Power Norms for Young Adults

Patterson, David; Peterson, D. Fred

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2004 - Volume 36 - Issue 5 - p S114
Annual Meeting Abstracts: C-28 – Free Communication/Poster: Exercise Evaluation

Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO.


(Sponsor: William L. Sexton, FACSM)


When determining the performance level of medical students who had undergone fitness evaluation, we discovered that normative vertical jump values for the age group 21–30 yrs were not available. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to create norm-referenced vertical jump and leg power values for healthy, active men and women ages 21–25 and 26–30 yrs of age. METHODS: Maximal vertical jump height was assessed in medical students and their spouses (n = 724) during a campus fitness evaluation. Vertical jump height was measured using a Vertec™ apparatus to the nearest 0.5 inches. Power values were calculated from vertical jump height measurements using the Sayers' Peak Power equation. Body mass index was determined for all subjects. RESULTS: Maximal vertical jump height (mean ± SD) in men 21–25 yrs (n = 312) was not different from those aged 26–30 yrs (n = 188) (21–25 yrs, 22.2 ± 3.5; 26–30 yrs, 21.9 ± 3.3 in). Similarly, vertical jump height in women was the same in the 21–25 (n = 182) and the 26–30 (n = 42) yr age groups (21–25 yrs, 14.1 ± 2.5; 26–30 yrs, 14.0 ± 2.4 in). There was no difference in body mass index for women in the 21–25 and 26–30 yr groups (21–25 yrs, 23.4 ± 3.5; 26–30 yrs, 24.0 ± 5.1 kg· m−2). However, body mass index for males 26–30 yrs (26.0 ± 3.2 kg · m−2) was greater than the 21–25 yrs group (25.0 ± 3.3 kg · m−2; P<0.01). Thus, peak power for men 21–25 yrs (4790 ± 446 watts) was less than males in the 26–30 yrs groups (4962 ± 604 watts; P<0.01), whereas peak power for women was similar in both age groups (21–25 yrs, 2948 ± 596 watts; 26–30 yrs, 2972 ± 816 watts). CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that among healthy, active men and women there is no decline in vertical jump performance between 21 and 30 yrs of age. Because body mass index was greater in males 26–30 yrs, calculated peak leg power was greater in this group. These data provide normative values for comparison of vertical jump and of leg power performance with other age-matched populations. (This work supported by AOA

Grants #97-04-447 and 98-04-461.)

©2004The American College of Sports Medicine