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Changes in stature following plyometric drop-jump and pendulum exercises

Fowler, Neil E. and Lees, Adrian and Reilly, T. (1997) Changes in stature following plyometric drop-jump and pendulum exercises. Ergonomics, 40 (12). pp. 1279-1286. ISSN 0014-0139

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the changes in stature following the performance of plyometric exercises using drop-jumps and a pendulum swing. Eight male participants aged 21.7 +/- 1.8 years with experience of plyometric training gave their informed consent to act as participants. Participants undertook two exercise regimens and a 15-min standing test in a random order. The exercises entailed the performance of 50 drop-jumps from a height of 0.28 m or 50 pendulum rebounds. Participants were instructed to perform maximal jumps or rebounds using a 'bounce' style. Measurements of stature were performed after a 20-min period of standing (pre-exercise), 2-min after exercise (post-exercise) and after a 20-min standing recovery (recovery). Back pain and muscle soreness were assessed using an analogue-visual scale, at each of the above times and also 24 and 36 h after the test. Peak torque during isokinetic knee extension at 1.04 rads-1 was measured immediately before and after the exercise bouts, to assess the degree of muscular fatigue. Ground/wall reaction force data were recorded using a Kistler force platform mounted in the floor for drop-jumps and vertically on the rebound wall for pendulum exercises. Drop-jumps resulted in the greatest (p < 0.05) change in stature (-2.71 +/- 0.8 mm), compared to pendulum exercises (-1.77 +/- 0.7 mm) and standing (-0.39 +/- 0.2 mm). Both exercise regimens resulted in a significant (p < 0.01) decrease in stature when compared to the standing condition. Drop-jumps resulted in significantly greater peak impact forces (p < 0.05) than pendulum exercises (drop-jumps = 3.2 +/- 0.5 x body weight, pendulum = 2.6 +/- 0.5 x body weight). The two exercise conditions both invoked a small degree of muscle soreness but there were no significant differences between conditions. Both exercise regimens resulted in a non-significant decrease in peak torque indicating a similar degree of muscular fatigue. Based on the lower shrinkage resulted and lower peak forces, it can be concluded that pendulum exercises pose a lower injury potential to the lower back than drop-jumps performed from a height of 28 cm.

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