Biomechanical Characteristics of the Countermovement Jump

  • Artur Struzik


The countermovement jump is the closest to natural human movement among all biomechanical types of jumps and involves the movement of the whole body. Jump height is understood as a maximal lift of the jumping person’s general centre of gravity in the flight phase with respect to the baseline position at the moment of take-off. A proper countermovement jump performance consists of a jump up from the standing position preceded by quick lower limb flexion and taking-off with both legs with an arm swing performed in coordination with other body parts. The key factors that determine the value of the final velocity of take-off and jump height are: the ability to collect and utilize potential elastic energy, the stretch-shortening cycle, the rate of muscle contraction and muscle power. Performing a countermovement before take-off leads to a rapid extension of muscles before contraction, which helps these muscles accumulate potential elastic energy and, consequently, do greater work in the take-off phase. In sport activities, athletes jump at a specific rather than a maximal height, although the target height is often near maximal. Therefore, it seems necessary to conduct research on vertical jumps to different heights rather than only to maximal height.


Akimbo Arm swing Biomechanics Countermovement jump Jump height Jumping abilities Motion system Motor abilities Muscle properties Potential elastic energy Stretch-shortening cycle Submaximal performance Take-off velocity Team sport games Vertical jump Work 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Artur Struzik
    • 1
  1. 1.University School of Physical EducationWrocławPoland

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