The Difference Between Countermovement and Squat Jump Performances: A Review of Underlying Mechanisms With Practical Applications

Bas Van Hooren*, Julia Zolotarjova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

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Abstract

Two movements that are widely used to monitor athletic performance are the countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ). Countermovement jump performance is almost always better than SJ performance, and the difference in performance is thought to reflect an effective utilization of the stretch-shortening cycle. However, the mechanisms responsible for the performance-enhancing effect of the stretch-shortening cycle are frequently undefined. Uncovering and understanding these mechanisms is essential to make an inference regarding the difference between the jumps. Therefore, we will review the potential mechanisms that explain the better performance in a CMJ as compared with a SJ. It is concluded that the difference in performance may primarily be related to the greater uptake of muscle slack and the buildup of stimulation during the countermovement in a CMJ. Elastic energy may also have a small contribution to an enhanced CMJ performance. Therefore, a larger difference between the jumps is not necessarily a better indicator of highintensity sports performance. Although a larger difference may reflect the utilization of elastic energy in a small-amplitude CMJ as a result of a well-developed capability to co-activate muscles and quickly build up stimulation, a larger difference may also reflect a poor capability to reduce the degree of muscle slack and build up stimulation in the SJ. Because the capability to reduce the degree of muscle slack and quickly build up stimulation in the SJ may be especially important to high-intensity sports performance, training protocols might concentrate on attaining a smaller difference between the jumps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2011-2020
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • eccentric utilization ratio
  • prestretch augmentation
  • stretch reflex
  • active state
  • residual force enhancement
  • explosive strength
  • MUSCLE-TENDON COMPLEX
  • STRETCH-SHORTENING CYCLE
  • RESIDUAL FORCE ENHANCEMENT
  • LONG-DISTANCE RUNNERS
  • NET VERTICAL IMPULSE
  • ELASTIC ENERGY
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • TRICEPS SURAE
  • IN-VIVO
  • GASTROCNEMIUS MEDIALIS

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