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Propulsion Forces as a Function of Intensity for Weightlifting and Vertical Jumping


Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 6(3):129-134, August 1992.


Garhammer, John 1; Gregor, Robert 2


Four Olympic-style weightlifters and six athletes from other sports volunteered to perform maximal and submaximal vertical jumps with countermovement and/or snatch lifts on a Kistler force plate to compare the kinetics of the two activities at different levels of effort.

Parameters studied included maximum vertical ground reaction force generated during a snatch lift or jump for both maximal and submaximal efforts and force duration at magnitudes greater than 50, 80 and 90 percent of max during the propulsion phase of each activity.

Results indicated that in both activities, as the level of performance (intensity) increased, maximal propulsion force magnitudes generally decreased, whereas the duration of force at higher percentages of maximum increased. Qualitative similarities in the temporal pattern of vertical ground reaction force for each activity were observed in both unweighting and propulsion phases. Use of a double knee bend lifting technique accounted for an unweighting phase during the snatch lifts.

Data indicated that the athletes used adjustments in temporal pattern of propulsive force application, rather than an increase in the magnitude of force generated for maximal versus submaximal efforts in both activities.

Athletes who require improved jumping ability may benefit from utilizing Olympic lifting movements as part of their strength training program due to the applied overload and the similarities found between the propulsive force patterns of each activity.

(C) 1992 National Strength and Conditioning Association


This study, whilst only performed on a small number of participants helps explain why Olympic weightlifters tend to have excellent vertical jumps.

As the research suggests, a bit of Olympic lifting can enhance your jumping ability. For more information see our Olympic lifting article.

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