The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 2 strategies, defined by foot placement during the initiation of the take-off on performance in vertical jumps. The additional area of interest in this experiment was whether technique of the take-off phase might be an exploratory factor that has different electromyogram (EMG) muscle activity during squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ) performed starting from the standard position, with parallel foot placement, and from the experimental one, with straddle foot placement. Six well-experienced male 100-400 m sprinters, who were members of the Polish youth and senior national team (mean values: age 21.6 years, best performance: 100 m in 10.54 seconds and 400 m in 45.54 seconds), performed vertical SJ and vertical CMJ from 2 initial positions with different foot placement. To collect all selected kinematic and kinetic data, the video recording system BTS Vixta was used in conjunction with force platforms (Kistler model 9286B). The latest system for 3D motion analysis, BTS SMART, based on the passive IR reflective markers was also applied. Electromyograms of 6 lower limb muscles were collected using a Noraxon EMG device. The CMJ was on average 7 cm higher than the SJ (CMJ, 85 cm and SJ, 78 cm), which amounts to 8.97%. This was not because of the increase of center of gravity (COG) velocity at take-off because velocities of center of gravity (COG) projection were almost equal (SJ, 2.93 m·scompared with CMJ, 2.99 m·s). No significant differences of both magnitude and rate of development of the muscle torques and powers between jumps were found, but when we analyzed the problem with division into single legs (right and left) and with division into different jumps (SJ and CMJ), the differences were evident. The profiles of EMG activity of selected muscles showed some differences between SJ and CMJ. The vertical SJ and CMJ performance measurement may be of value to coaches and conditioning specialists who wish to develop or assess the power ability of lower extremities either unilaterally (single leg) or bilaterally (sum of both legs).
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