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Velocity strength training requires exercise modalities allowing athletes to reach very high movement velocity, which is limited during vertical movements involving body weight.
Our aim was to quantify the mechanical outputs developed during horizontal squat jumps, and notably the movement velocity, in comparison to vertical squat jumps with and without loads.
Thirteen healthy male athletes performed squat jumps without additional loads (SJ0), with a load of ~60% of body mass (SJ60) and during horizontal squat jumps performed lying down on a roller device with (AHSJ) and without (HSJ) a rubber band assistance. Instantaneous lower limb extension velocity, force and power output were measured and averaged over the push-off phase.
The force was significantly higher during SJ60 than during SJ0, which was higher than during HSJ and AHSJ. Extension velocity was significantly different across all conditions with 0.86 ± 0.07, 1.29 ± 0.10, 1.59 ± 0.19 and 1.83 ± 0.19 m.s-1 for SJ60, SJ0, HSJ and AHSJ conditions, respectively. Differences in force and velocity values between SJ0 and the other conditions were large to extremely large. Differences were observed in power values only between SJ60 and SJ0, SJ60 and AHSJ and SJ0 and HSJ.
Horizontal squat jump modalities allow athletes to reach very to extremely largely higher limb extension velocities (HSJ: +24.0±16%, AHSJ: +42.8±17.4%) than during SJ0. HSJ and AHSJ modalities are cheap and practical modalities to train limb extension velocity capabilities, i.e. the ability of the neuromuscular system to produce force at high contraction velocities.