Vertical jumping performance in young rhytmic gymnasts

How do strength gains transfer to vertical jumping?

Vertical jumping performance in rhythmic gymnasts Biol.Sport 22(3), 2005


exercise than rhythmic gymnasts. In rhythmic gymnastics, the bursts of highly

intense activity are mostly so short that it is not likely to tax the anaerobic system

to any high extent, and it is therefore not likely that children going in for

gymnastics will perform repetitive jumping test better than untrained children. On

the other hand, the high level power produced by the gymnasts may also make it

impossible to sustain after depletion the phosphagen stores, and this may explain

the greater drop in power in rhythmic gymnasts.

In summary, the results of the present study demonstrated that young elite

female rhythmic gymnasts have greater jump height in SJ, CMJ and DJ than age-

matched controls. They demonstrated a markedly greater ability to use the

potentiating effect of SSC to vertical jumping performance than control subjects

during DJ, but not during CMJ. The rhythmic gymnasts produced greater

mechanical power during repetitive jumping maximal exercise, but fatigued faster

than controls.


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EDIT: I misinterpreted as I skimmed over the “height” element of the question. :(

I’ve heard a lot of people say jump out. That makes pretty fun sense, until you realize the real answer is: there would be no blender left to kill you.

My logic — (someone show me how this is incorrect):

Based on conservation of mass/energy, if I were immediately shrunk down to the size of a nickel it would mass destruct the whole area.

An average human is 65kg. That’s 65,000 grams.

A nickel is 5 grams.

So 65,000g/5g leaves you with 13,000.

1 (the nickel worth of mass you would be) / 13,000 = .00007

65,000*.00007 =4.5…

When performing a vertical jump, the athlete exerts force at the low back, hip, knee, and ankle joints. The spine flexes as the athlete squats downwards, and then is extended by the spinal erectors over the course of the jump. The hip extensors (gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and adductor magnus) work to move the trunk and the thigh apart, which pushes the torso up and backwards. Meanwhile, the knee extensors (quadriceps) contract to extend the knee, and the calf muscles contract to move the shin backwards, towards the vertical.

Many models have been constructed to identify the most important muscles in the vertical jump, with some conflicting results. Some have suggested that movement is governed by the gluteus maximus and quadriceps, while others have proposed that the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles are key. Importantly, no model has yet explored the role of the adductor magnus, which is the primary hip extensor in the barbell squat. This is relevant, as many studies have found that the squat is an ideal exercise for improving jump height, and maximum back squat strength is closely associated with vertical jump performance among athletes.

Even so, the back squat does differ in important ways from the vertical jump. Primarily, it involves a much greater trunk extension turning force, because of the barbell weight on the upper back, and this likely contributes to the more hip-dominant nature of the squat over the vertical jump. Secondly, it is often performed to a deeper depth, which can alter the relative contribution of each of the hip extensors to the movement, because of their different leverages at each joint angle. And thirdly, it only involves accelerating up to midway through the movement, while the vertical jump involves accelerating right up until take-off. This also affects the relative contribution of the hip extensors, as force production will be required in the jump even when the hip is nearly fully extended, while this is unnecessary in the squat.

Finally, to make things even more complicated, it is likely that the roles of the lower body muscles may differ according to if: (1) the jump is maximal or sub-maximal, (2) long-term training has occurred, and (3) the individual has a “hip-dominant” or a “knee-dominant” technique. Indeed, the vertical jump is more dependent upon the hip extensors in maximal jumps, compared to in sub-maximal ones. And after long-term jumping training, the increase in the amount of work done in the jump by the hip extensors is related to the increase in height, while the increase in the amount of work done by the knee extensors is not.

Further reading

Smolov squat routine review

How to breathe for the barbell back squat

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How does the height of a jump change if the body is scaled down?

This is a physics question that appeared in the movie ‘The Internship.’

If you are reduced to the size of a coin and put into a blender what would you do?

Apparently the answer was that with a reduced size you could jump higher and jump out the blender.

I would think that if you are smaller your strength will also be smaller so you could only jump a few centimeters and could not escape from the blender.

So how does it work?

Why are smaller animals stronger than larger ones, when considered relative to their body weight?

Zasso pointed it already out:

Scaling up a ant to human size means volume (weight) increasing by length proportional $l^{3}$, but the force of muscles is determined by cross section (not muscle weight), so muscle force goes proportioal to $l^{2}$.

Smaller factors are likely:

  • stiffness (or strentgh of the skeleton)
  • balance point (center of mass)
  • leverage (human skeleton is «sub-optimal» for this, we are afaik best optimized by evolution for long runs, more than any other animal)

i did some quick further search on «robot insects» on this interesting topic. This article is quite worth reading and relating biological to technological limits as well as current state of the art in nanobionics:

Interestingly, the force generated
from a wide variety of actuator
materials and devices has been found
to be surprisingly invariant when
compared with the actuator mass. A few
years back, a comparison of the
force-to-weight ratio of various
organisms and machines found a
striking similarity, with the force
scaling linearly with mass over 20
orders of magnitude – from individual
protein molecules to rocket engines

(«Molecules, muscles, and machines:
Universal performance characteristics
of motors»). Remarkably, this finding
indicates that most of the motors used
by humans and animals for
transportation have a common upper
limit of mass-specific net force
output that is independent of
materials and mechanisms. Therefore
any actuating device produces the same
force per mass regardless of the
material from which it is constructed
and the mechanism by which it
. This study also makes clear
that biological systems dominate at
the small mass, small force, range. In
contrast, human-made machines dominate
at the large mass range.

short example as Sonny asked for in comment:

ant with 10 mm length {amp}amp; 10 mg mass

$Rightarrow$ lets scale up to human size (2m) $Rightarrow$ means a factor of 200. So the mass scales with 200x200x200=8000000 (Volume $propto$ $l^{3}$ ) $Rightarrow$ human sized ant=80 kg. But muscle forces scales only by factor 200×200=40000. The small ant can carry 100x10mg of her own mass=1g, the human sized ant should be able to carry 1g x 40000=40 kg.

Conclusion: pretty comparable to a avg. 80 kg human man able to carry 40 kg!

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