vertical jump training

Use of an overhead goal alters vertical jump performance and biomechanics.


Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Sports Medicine Biodynamics Center, and Human Performance Laboratory


Ford KR, Myer GD, Smith RL, Byrnes RN, Dopirak SE, Hewett


This study examined whether an extrinsic motivator, such as an overhead goal, during a plyometric jump may alter movement biomechanics. Our purpose was to examine the effects of an overhead goal on vertical jump height and lower-extremity biomechanics during a drop vertical jump and to compare the effects on female (N = 18) versus male (N = 17) athletes.

Drop vertical jump was performed both with and without the use of an overhead goal. Greater vertical jump height (p = 0.002) and maximum takeoff external knee flexion (quadriceps) moment (p = 0.04) were attained with the overhead goal condition versus no overhead goal. Men had significantly greater vertical jump height (p < 0.001), maximum takeoff vertical force (p = 0.009), and maximum takeoff hip extensor moment (p = 0.02) compared with women.

A significant gender x overhead goal interaction was found for stance time (p = 0.02) and maximum ankle (p = 0.04) and knee flexion angles (p = 0.04), with shorter stance times and lower angles in men during overhead goal time. These results indicate that overhead goals may be incorporated during training and testing protocols to alter lower-extremity biomechanics and can increase performance.


Whilst jumping drills are great they don't provide much tangible feedback as to whether or not you are actually improving. Jumping for a specific target does. Spending time just trying to continuously jump up and touch progressively higher targets is an almost fool proof method for increasing your vertical jump.

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