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Today’s study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the scenario above. Training with plyometrics can be the difference between being an average athlete or a great athlete. Plyometrics work on hip explosiveness and leg drive, and can tremendously improve flexibility in the hamstrings and lower back.
Being able to jump vertically is extremely important in such sports as basketball, football, and volleyball. First, make sure the athlete’s eyes and head are looking to where they are trying to reach. Secondly the athlete’s arm that is reaching upwards should be directly in line with their ear. Just by coaching these points, athletes can improve their vertical jump height within minutes.
These were some general, easy to use tips on technique that we as coaches can implement into our plyometric routine for athletes. Ryan Kish has been working with athletes in the strength and conditioning aspect for two years. Objective: To examine the effect of kinesio tape compared to no tape on vertical jump height and triceps surae electromyographic (EMG) muscle activity in healthy varsity athletes. Cite this paper: Ian MacDowall, Paolo Sanzo, Carlos Zerpa, The Effect of Kinesio Taping on Vertical Jump Height and Muscle Electromyographic Activity of the Gastrocnemius and Soleus in Varsity Athletes, International Journal of Sports Science, Vol. The combination of these two is what allows someone to propel him- or herself from the ground to as high as possible.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research took 59 participants and placed them in a ten-week training group focusing on three variations of the squat: back squats, deep front squats, and partial range of motion back squats.
In addition, each group tested the three squat variations for improvements in 1RM strength. Olympic lifts are commonly used to recruit these high threshold motor units are the Olympic lifts.
The mid-thigh pull starts in the same position as the hang clean and requires triple extension of the ankles, knees, and hips, yet does not require the catch that a clean does. Some studies have even shown that in reference to our primary goal, increasing rate of force development, the mid-thigh pull is better than the power clean. Daniel Payseur, is the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator of the United States Performance center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The final jump was preceded by a static hold during which the athlete strained maximally on the bar for six seconds in a half squat. This study showed that squatting at 93% of 1RM had the greatest effect on vertical jump performance. Lifting a near maximal load just prior to an explosive movement like jumping or sprinting appears to enable the body to perform significantly better. Some coaches tend to shy away from plyometrics as they assume the movements can be dangerous, hard to teach, and not worth the trouble. I am going to share a couple useful technique-oriented tips that you can use and share to make sure your athletes are performing plyometrics the correct way. There are some easy corrections that can be applied to increase your vertical jump based on technique alone. This seems obvious, but many times we will see athletes landing six inches in either direction of where they started. It also contains more technicalities than simply standing still and jumping as far as you can horizontally. You then want the athlete to bring their arms back and begin to go into the quarter squat position, activating the glutes and hamstrings once again.
As a coach, you should really emphasize to drive the hips through when you jump, similar to how a power clean is performed.
Be able to communicate to your athlete not only what they should be doing in regards to technique and muscle movements, but also why.
He played football at Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, where he started for four years at linebacker. He then went on to become a football defensive graduate assistant at Concordia University Chicago, coaching the inside linebackers.
IntroductionOveruse injuries and soft tissue and tendon disorders often account for 30-50% of all athletic injuries [20, 27]. These two variables are the answers to the question you vertically challenged folks have been asking for years.
Beginning the training program, each participant underwent a series of tests including vertical jump, one rep max (1RM), and rate of force development. Results showed the deep squat groups demonstrated improvements in all three variations, but the partial squat group only improved in partial squats.
Deep squatting is primarily affecting the musculature, but in relation to power or rate of force development, we need to train the nervous system.
However, since these lifts are more complex than many other exercises, technique can limit the progress made. Since it is so simple, you can focus strictly on adding weight to the bar, accelerating it upward as quickly as possible, and then letting the weight fall. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared the power clean, hang clean, mid-thigh pull, and mid-thigh power clean. In order to program these two exercises, we will use the concept of linear periodization, which also happened to be used in the squat depth study. The two different protocols were performed on different days and in random order for each athlete, so normal improvement in the vertical jump shouldn’t be a factor in the results.
This study demonstrated deadlifting at 85% 1RM just prior to sprinting resulted in faster times.
Even straining maximally against an immovable object can have this effect, as evidenced by today's study and a previous rowing study. Athletes of all levels can properly perform most plyos as long as you teach them correct form and the exercise is modified to their own ability level. A good rule of thumb is to pick a box in which the athlete can jump onto and get both feet completely onto the box. Starting at the feet, we want them to be shoulder width to slightly less than shoulder width apart. The athlete should then drive forward with the hips and arms while jumping out as far as possible, landing in a good athletic position. Your hip power is what is going to enable you to jump as far as possible since you are jumping in the direction your hips are moving. More specifically, tendinopathies account for 4% of all patients presenting to sports medicine clinics [27]. Since our answer is in two parts, let’s take a look at both of these aspects separately and then bring them both together. But strength acquisition is a topic that can be overly complicated and drawn out all on its own. Squatting below parallel with high loads has been shown to reap the most benefit in the vertical jump.
The participants placed in the deep front and deep back squat groups improved performance in the vertical jump by just over one inch. The last test, rate of force development, was not changed within the deep squat group, but was significantly decreased in the partial squat group.
And I know if the force I can now produce is developed more rapidly, the amount of power produced increases dramatically. In order to avoid the technique issues, I suggest focusing on a simplified derivative of the clean - the mid-thigh pull.
The comparison showed the mid-thigh pull to be the superior means of increasing rate of force development. He holds a MS in Exercise Science from Appalachian State University where he produced award-winning research as well as developed athletes with ASU Strength and Conditioning. In one protocol, the athlete would rest quietly and peruse Instagram for three minutes between maximal jump attempts.
And this study showed pulling on an immovable rower handle for five seconds improved rowing sprints. Whether your performance is being tested in competition or you are just looking to improve performance during training, PAP should be one of the tools in your arsenal.

By not implementing plyos into your athlete’s routine, your athlete will never become nearly as explosive as he or she could. As the athlete descends to begin the jump, make sure he or she is pushing the glutes back (similar to how you would when you perform a squat). Some athletes like to sway their arms and hips back and forth before they begin to jump, others will begin the jump immediately. Once you get your athletes to utilize their hips and glutes, their jumps will really start to take off. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body [18] and the common union of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles inserting into the calcaneus [38]. These motor units are most easily recruited by increasing load while simultaneously trying to accelerate that load as quickly as possible. In fact, science is quickly building consensus that PAP is real and can measurably improve your performance in explosive movements like jumping, sprinting, and rowing. In the second protocol, each athlete was required to perform a single back squat before jump attempts.
This will enable the athlete to use maximum power from the glute and hamstring muscles, which will enable the highest jump. After consent was obtained, the participant completed a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) and the Waterloo Footedness Questionnaire.
Despite the tendon being the strongest in the human body and having a high capacity to withstand tensile forces, many individuals suffer from pain and discomfort in this area each and every day resulting in a diagnosis of Achilles tendinopathy [11, 38]. Given our goal of increasing vertical jump height, we will focus specifically on lower body strength. The participant then completed a brief warm up and three practice trials of each jump technique. Achilles tendinopathy may be caused by excessive loading and tensile forces, degeneration, or in 2% of the cases by systemic diseases [18, 33]. The jumping techniques included the countermovement vertical jump and static vertical jump. QMY6-25 brick machines for sale fly ash brick machines small brick machine specificationsa.
The skin at each sensor site was prepped and cleaned and a Delsys Trigno Wireless EMG System was attached to the lateral and medial gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles. Often Achilles tendinopathy is associated with running for moderate and longer distances with the annual incidence in runners being reported to be between 7 and 9% [18] and as high as 18% [27]. For your more advanced athletes, single leg box jumps can be performed following the same protocol. After insuring that the EMG sensors were firmly attached, the individual performed a maximal vertical jump and the height of the vertical jump measured using a Vertec device. Achilles tendinopathy is also associated with jumping tasks and other sports such as tennis, badminton, volleyball, and soccer [18]. Tendinopathy is not only present in the athletic and physically active population, however, and does affect the general population as well [33].
Each of these jumps were performed with a one footed take off using the dominant leg only, and then a two footed take off using both legs.
There is no conclusive evidence on the optimal intervention that should be used to treat Achilles tendinopathy [20]. A randomized controlled trial of a mixed kinesio taping-compression technique on venous symptoms, pain, peripheral venous flow, clinical severity and overall health status in postmenopausal women with chronic venous insufficiency. Kinesio tape was then applied to the dominant leg using a combined taping technique (facilitatory and mechanical corrective). There are a variety of proposed conservative treatments and therapeutic modalities to both prevent and treat Achilles tendinopathy, including therapeutic taping [12].
The maximal countermovement vertical jump and static vertical jump height was then re-tested.
Kinesio tape is a type of elastic therapeutic tape that mimics the thickness and weight of the human skin and can stretch up to 60% of its resting length [22]. It can be used in different settings including both injury rehabilitation and prevention [22].
The non-elastic tape, such as athletic tape and Leukotape, is also commonly used in therapeutic, preventative, and sport settings. There was no significant difference in the vertical jump height for the one legged static, one legged countermovement, or two legged countermovement jumps. Non-elastic tape is advantageous as it supports joints by restricting excessive movement [3]. There was also no significant difference in the EMG activity across the four jump types for the gastrocnemius or soleus muscles with and without tape. In comparison to non-elastic tape, kinesio tape increases proprioception, realigns fascial tissue, improves blood and lymph circulation, strengthens weakened muscle, and decreases pain [19, 29, 40].The direction in which the tape is applied can have different effects on the tissue.
Conclusions: The findings of this study have shown that the application of an Achilles tendinopathy kinesio taping technique increased the vertical jump height during a one legged static vertical jump. If the tape is anchored at the origin and laid toward the insertion point, it is proposed that the tape assists in relaxing muscle tone; conversely, if the tape is laid in the opposite direction, from insertion to origin, it is proposed to facilitate the muscle and promote muscle contraction [21]. Initial effects of kinesio taping in patients with patella femoral pain syndrome: Randomized, double blind study. A trend of minor improvement was evident in all of the vertical jumps that were performed with tape. It has been reported that a combination of techniques using an activation and deactivation method simultaneously may be most effective and actually improve performance [25, 34]. It was found that kinesio tape had no effect on EMG activity of the gastrocnemius or soleus muscles. The positive effects of kinesio tape on both physiological and performance factors have been considered to be a possible ergogenic aid to athletic performance by some but the available research as an adjunct to sport performance or injury rehabilitation is limited with contrasting findings.Aguilar-Ferrandiz et al.
The improvement in vertical jump height demonstrates that the application of kinesio tape may provide an individual with an athletic advantage in sports such as volleyball and basketball where jump height may be advantageous in certain sport specific situations.
They determined that the application of kinesio tape to the gastrocnemius muscle improved venous symptoms, peripheral venous flow, and overall health, and also decreased pain. It has also been reported that when kinesio tape was applied to the quadriceps muscle, electrical activity and motor recruitment of the muscle increased [36]. The effect of different kinesio taping techniques on a variety of different injuries, such as lateral epicondylitis and plantar fasciitis has also been examined.
It was reported that the application of kinesio tape resorbed visible edema, reduced pain levels, and increased functional abilities in these individuals [41]. It was also found that there was no change in calf pain when kinesio tape was placed superficially on the triceps surae muscle [28]. In addition to the contrasting views on pain reduction, there are also varying results regarding the effects of kinesio tape on other biomechanical factors. They also determined that peak vertical force and peak power decreased with tape in comparison to no tape. Koyama, Kato, and Yamauchi [23] also found that vertical jump height slightly decreased with the use of athletic tape versus no tape but that ground reaction force actually increased when athletic tape was administered.
The effects of kinesio tape on athletic-based performance outcomes in healthy, active individual: A literature synthesis. They reported that the EMG activity increased and that increased ground reaction forces were present with one of the types of elastic tape. The authors proposed that the increased ground reaction forces supported the fact that tape may facilitate muscle contraction capacity during the vertical jumping task. It was also reported that muscle activity of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles increased with the application of kinesio tape.
Painful conditions in the Achilles tendon region: A common problem in middle-aged competitive badminton players. Tape was applied to the gastrocnemius, hamstrings, rectus femoris, and iliopsoas muscles with the muscles placed in a maximally stretched position without traction on the tape. No significant difference was found in jump performance as measured by the distance travelled. Taping is often used for rehabilitation and the prevention of ankle and lower leg injuries, but there is also contrasting research in this regards [1, 26]. When kinesio tape was applied to individuals with a lateral ankle sprain, there was no significant difference in vertical jump height for both males and females [30]. The effect of kinesio tape on function, pain, and motoneural excitability in healthy people with Achilles tendinopathy.

In this crossover randomized controlled trial of 20 athletes, no significant effect was reported when comparing the effects of kinesio tape to placebo on vertical jump height, distance travelled in a horizontal jump test, and dynamic balance tested with the Star Balance Excursion Test.The number of studies actually examining the effect of kinesio tape on vertical jump performance is limited. There are also not a great deal of studies that investigate the effects of kinesio tape on highly active populations, as most studies test healthy, inactive individuals.
Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of kinesio tape compared to no tape on vertical jump height and triceps surae EMG muscle activity in healthy varsity athletes.2.
SubjectsAfter ethical approval was obtained, 20 healthy subjects between the ages of 18 and 30 years were recruited using both convenience and purposive sampling. Effect of kinesio tape to muscle activity and vertical jump performance in healthy inactive people.
The effect of patella taping on quadriceps strength and functional performance in normal subjects. The represents the location in which the wireless EMG electrode was positioned on the lateral gastrocnemius muscleFigure 2. The represents the location in which the wireless EMG electrode was positioned on the soleus muscleEach sensor was applied to the dominant leg of the participant and wrapped in pre-wrap to firmly adhere the electrodes to the skin. Once the standing reach height was taken, the participant performed a one footed take off maximal static vertical jump using only the dominant foot on the Vertec device. Immediate effect of quadriceps kinesiotaping on the anaerobic muscle power and anaerobic threshold of healthy college students.
This device has been reported to be reliable in the measurement of vertical jump height [32]. The same procedure was then completed two more times until a total of three jump trials were completed.
Upon completion of three trials using only the dominant leg, the same procedure was used to perform a two footed static jump. Next, this same procedure was performed for both the one footed and two footed countermovement vertical jumps and the results recorded.When each of the four jumping techniques (one footed countermovement jump, two footed countermovement jump, one footed static jump, two footed static jump) were completed, kinesio tape was applied to the participant’s dominant leg.
The kinesio tape was applied by the same member of the research team who is certified by Kinesio Taping Association International. The participant was positioned in prone with the dominant foot fully dorsiflexed and the calf muscles placed on stretch [22]. The effect of kinesio tape application on hamstring and gastrocnemius in healthy young adults.
An I-strip was measured from the calcaneal fat pad to the musculotendinous junction of the Achilles tendon and triceps surae muscle.
With the tendon stretched, the distal end of the I-strip was anchored at the calcaneal fat pad with no tension placed on the tape.
Once the tape was anchored, a 50% stretch was applied as the tape was laid over the length of the tendon from distal to proximal. The tape was anchored at the proximal end at the musculotendinous junction without tension (figure 4) [22]. Prophylactic ankle bracing versus taping: Effects on functional performance in female basketball players. To obtain the mean EMG value, the raw EMG signal was rectified and a Butterworth low pass filter was applied to create a linear envelop mean EMG value via the EMG Works Delsys software. Signal Processing and AnalysisDescriptive statistics were used to compare means and standard deviations of the mean EMG values and vertical jump heights.
Two independent variables (tape intervention and type of jump) and two dependent variables (mean EMG activity measured in μV and maximum vertical jump height measured in centimeters) were examined.
The data were analyzed using paired samples t-tests to examine the effect of the taping intervention on the dependent variables for each type of vertical jump.
Although the only significant increase in vertical jump height occurred during the one legged static jump, there was an overall increase in each of the four vertical jump types with the application of tape as seen in figure 6.Figure 6.
Effect of kinesio taping on jumping and balance in athletes: A crossover randomized controlled trial.
DiscussionThis study examined the effects of kinesio tape compared to no tape on vertical jump height and triceps surae EMG muscle activity in healthy varsity athletes.
The results showed that vertical jump height significantly increased during the one legged static vertical jump with the application of kinesio tape compared to no tape. There was no significant difference in the vertical jump height with tape for the two legged static, one legged countermovement, or two legged countermovement jumps. There was also no significant effect on EMG muscle activity of the medial gastrocnemius, lateral gastrocnemius, or soleus muscles for any of the four jump types.Opinions about the reported effects of kinesio taping on physical performance measures such as vertical jumping ability and EMG muscle activity are inconsistent in the limited literature available.
Previous research examining the effect of kinesio tape on muscle activity found that the tape had no effect on muscle activity in young athletes [14] or decreased muscle activity [16]. However, it has also been identified that kinesio tape increased EMG activity [6, 15, 17, 36]. As the reported results vary across a wide spectrum, trying to compare each of these different studies is extremely difficult due to methodological inconsistencies, different types of tape used, and different methods of application. Many studies have used poor methodological designs or lack pertinent information to clarify exactly what type of tape or technique was used. Each of these variables may greatly impact on the reported findings.With regards to the longer term follow up, the participants in the present study performed the jumping trials immediately after the kinesio tape was applied.
It has been reported that the motor units of the muscle may be maximally increased 24 hours after the application of kinesio tape [36].
As a result, this may have impacted on the EMG muscle activity and limited the effect that the kinesio tape had on the muscle activity of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.Throughout the study, the distance that participants squatted down in preparation for their jump was controlled and standardized.
This may have affected the technique used by participants altering their normal jumping mechanics and affecting the stretch-shortening cycle of the individual’s muscles [6]. Effect of kinesio taping on bioelectrical activity of vastus medialis muscle: Preliminary report. The greater range of motion and increased muscle activity proximally may have assisted with generating more momentum and force resulting in a greater vertical jump height. This may also explain why there was not a significant increase in EMG activity in the calf musculature and may an important consideration for future studies to incorporate analysis of the distal and proximal musculature.Although it has been reported that kinesio tape can have positive physiological effects such as increased venous flow [2] and quadriceps muscle strength [36], there is a lack of evidence that kinesio tape has any benefits on other muscles.
They also found that there was no significant difference in nerve conductivity in the forearm. It is evident that there is contrasting findings when it comes to the benefits of kinesio tape regarding pain and strength changes; the effects may depend on the specific muscle that the tape is applied to. Athletes in these sports rely on the vertical jump in order to achieve optimal performance, which is why the vertical jump is often used to test an individual’s physical fitness and lower extremity performance capacity [17, 39]. The vertical jump is carried out through rapid extension of the hip, knee, and ankle joints [5] and it is a complex motor skill that involves several muscles including the quadriceps and triceps surae with each muscle influencing performance [31].The contradictory findings on the effect of tape on vertical jump height and EMG activity may be due to the orientation of the kinesio tape and the direction that the tape is laid.
The difference in the direction that the kinesio tape is applied may be the reason that the EMG results from the current study vary from previous research.
As previously mentioned, the only statistical difference in vertical jump height occurred in the one legged static vertical jump.
However, a distinct trend was observed as there was a minor increase in jump height for each of the jump types. In the sporting world, any small increase in jump height counts as even a millimeter may be advantageous.
A small improvement in vertical jump height after the application of kinesio tape is beneficial to an athlete, especially in a sport such as volleyball or basketball where that height improvement can be the difference between making the block or not.
Therefore, even these minor enhancements in vertical jump height can provide an athletic advantage to the competitor.Some of the limitations of the current study are related to the design of the study. A one group pre-test post-test design was used and future studies should incorporate the addition of a control group, placebo group, or a comparator group using different types of tape to minimize treats to the internal validity of the data. A larger sample size with longer follow up as well may further add to the strength of the findings supporting the use of therapeutic taping.Based on the research available to date, there are various gaps in the literature. While the current research only included healthy individuals, the outcome is useful to establish normative data on the use of Kinesiotape to improve vertical jump performance.
From the clinical perspective, future research using a symptomatic population with Achilles tendinopathy may be beneficial and demonstrate added value to the body of literature available to clinicians. It would also be valuable to measure the effect of therapeutic taping on EMG activity of the larger muscles in the upper leg, as well as the lower leg, to determine if this taping technique has any influence on the quadriceps, hamstring, and gluteal muscles.

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