A simple method for measurement of mechanical power in jumping

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Summary

A simple test for the measurement of mechanical power during a vertical rebound jump series has been devised. The test consists of measuring the flight time with a digital timer (±0.001 s) and counting the number of jumps performed during a certain period of time (e.g., 15–60 s). Formulae for calculation of mechanical power from the measured parameters were derived. The relationship between this mechanical power and a modification of the Wingate test (r=0.87, n=12 ♂) and 60 m dash (r=0.84, n=12 ♂) were very close. The mechanical power in a 60 s jumping test demonstrated higher values (20 W×kgBW−1) than the power in a modified (60 s) Wingate test (7 W×kgBW−1) and a Margaria test (14 W×kgBW−1). The estimated powers demonstrated different values because both bicycle riding and the Margaria test reflect primarily chemo-mechanical conversion during muscle contraction, whereas in the jumping test elastic energy is also utilized. Therefore the new jumping test seems suitable to evaluate the power output of leg extensor muscles during natural motion. Because of its high reproducibility (r=0.95) and simplicity, the test is suitable for laboratory and field conditions.