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Do Lower-Body Dimensions and Body Composition Explain Vertical Jump Ability?

Caia, Johnpaul; Weiss, Lawrence W.; Chiu, Loren Z.F.; Schilling, Brian K.; Paquette, Max R.; Relyea, George E.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: November 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 11 - p 3073–3083
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001406
Original Research

Caia, J, Weiss, LW, Chiu, LZF, Schilling, BK, Paquette, MR, and Relyea, GE. Do lower-body dimensions and body composition explain vertical jump ability? J Strength Cond Res 30(11): 3073–3083, 2016—Vertical jump (VJ) capability is integral to the level of success attained by individuals participating in numerous sport and physical activities. Knowledge of factors related to jump performance may help with talent identification and/or optimizing training prescription. Although myriad variables are likely related to VJ, this study focused on determining if various lower-body dimensions and/or body composition would explain some of the variability in performance. Selected anthropometric dimensions were obtained from 50 university students (25 men and 25 women) on 2 occasions separated by 48 or 72 hours. Estimated body fat percentage (BF%), height, body weight, hip width, pelvic width, bilateral quadriceps angle (Q-angle), and bilateral longitudinal dimensions of the feet, leg, thigh, and lower limb were obtained. Additionally, participants completed countermovement VJs. Analysis showed BF% to have the highest correlation with countermovement VJ displacement (r = –0.76, p < 0.001). When examining lower-body dimensions, right-side Q-angle displayed the strongest association with countermovement VJ displacement (r = –0.58, p < 0.001). Regression analysis revealed that 2 different pairs of variables accounted for the greatest variation (66%) in VJ: (a) BF% and sex and (b) BF% and body weight. Regression models involving BF% and lower-body dimensions explained up to 61% of the variance observed in VJ. Although the variance explained by BF% may be increased by using several lower-body dimensions, either sex identification or body weight explains comparatively more. Therefore, these data suggest that the lower-body dimensions measured herein have limited utility in explaining VJ performance.

1School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia;

2Musculoskeletal Analysis Laboratory, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee; and

3Neuromusculoskeletal Mechanics Research Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Address correspondence to Johnpaul Caia,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.