Can we measure different aspects of Lower Body Power?

June 29, 2008

Sitting here in the new house, I’ve decided to talk a little more about lower body power assessments. Soooooooo, here it goes!

Last Monday I blogged about some of my random thoughts, one of which was about what apparatus I CURRENTLY prefer for assessing lower body power (in the post I remarked about the VERTEC and the Just Jump Pad).

What I’ve learned to do (since it is part of our assessment protocol for athletes at SST), is assess lower body power both in a vertical sense (vertical jump test) and a horizontal sense (broad jump). After our broad jump test, we continue to a penta jump test which is simply 5 broad jumps in a row with minimal ground contact time. We do the penta jump both double leg and single leg if the athlete is advanced enough.

The penta jump gives us data about the distance convered over the 5 jumps, which is good; we get information about how proficient the athlete is when repeated explosive lower body efforts are required.

However the only information we are given from the test is total distance covered. What I’ve started thinking about this is that it doesn’t tell us whether power output decreased over the course of the 5 jumps or whether it remained stable! In other words, was the distance of jump 1 different from the distance in jumps 2,3,4,5??

I don’t know how we can get the distance for each jump, but I just think it would be very useful to know how quickly does power output decrease during the series of jumps. 

That way as a trainer I can see whether I just need to train power, or do I need to spend time focusing on sustaining the ability to display power (power-endurance I guess, but that sounds like an oxymoron).

The Jump Jump, with their 4-jump test, gives an average of height of the 4 jumps which is something, but that isn’t the same as giving data on each of the 4 jumps. 

At the same time, am I thinking too much into assessing lower body power?




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