Maximum height and minimum time vertical jumping

Zachary J. Domire, John H. Challis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The performance criterion in maximum vertical jumping has typically been assumed to simply raise the center of mass as high as possible. In many sporting activities minimizing movement time during the jump is likely also critical to successful performance. The purpose of this study was to examine maximum height jumps performed while minimizing jump time. A direct dynamics model was used to examine squat jump performance, with dual performance criteria: maximize jump height and minimize jump time. The muscle model had activation dynamics, force-length, force-velocity properties, and a series of elastic component representing the tendon. The simulations were run in two modes. In Mode 1 the model was placed in a fixed initial position. In Mode 2 the simulation model selected the initial squat configuration as well as the sequence of muscle activations. The inclusion of time as a factor in Mode 1 simulations resulted in a small decrease in jump height and moderate time savings. The improvement in time was mostly accomplished by taking off from a less extended position. In Mode 2 simulations, more substantial time savings could be achieved by beginning the jump in a more upright posture. However, when time was weighted more heavily in these simulations, there was a more substantial reduction in jump height. Future work is needed to examine the implications for countermovement jumping and to examine the possibility of minimizing movement time as part of the control scheme even when the task is to jump maximally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2865-2870
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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