ArticlePDF Available
Training the Vertical Jump
to Head the Ball in Soccer
Antonio Paoli, BSc, MD,
Antonino Bianco, PhD,
Antonio Palma, MD,
and Giuseppe Marcolin, PhD
Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology;
Human Movement Sciences School, University of Padova, Padova,
Faculty of Sports and Exercise Sciences; and
Department of Legal, Economic, Biomedical, Psycho pedagogic
Studies of Sports and Exercise Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Researchers involved in the train-
ing methodology to improve
jump ability proposed a variety
of techniques and exercise modalities
(22,15,4). Nevertheless, the question on
what percentage of training should be
dedicated to strength and what to
power seems unresolved. First of all,
to better understand the matter, we
have to stress the difference between
strength and power. Generally speak-
ing, in athletics, the rate of force
development (RFD) is much more
important than strength alone; the
average RFD (mRFD) can be esti-
mated as the ratio F
, where
is the time to reach the peak
force, whereas F
is the maximum
force. This ratio is also named explo-
sive strength, commonly computed, for
applicative purposes per 1 kilogram of
body weight (26). Explosive strength is
a fundamental conditional capacity for
a soccer player, and more specifically,
vertical jump height is primal to suc-
cessfully impact the ball. Explosive
strength is fundamental for a soccer
player to obtain the jump height nec-
essary to head the ball or, in other
words, the maximal ability of a muscle
to exert force or torque at a specific
velocity (16). This kind of neuromus-
cular quality is often assessed by the 1
repetition maximum (RM) test, but
1RM strength maybe useful only for
a few athletic events like weightlifting
because during the 1RM test, low
acceleration values are usually obtained.
Referring to concentric movements, the
difference among strength and power
generation is due to the velocity of the
muscle contraction. In fact, power is
given by the product of force and
velocity: the higher the force, the lower
the velocity of concentric muscle action
(14). This is explained in Figure 1.
This skill (Figure 2) begins with the
loading of the leg (or both legs) in
preparation for the jump, then the arms
move from bottom to top, and the
take off starts. At the beginning of the
flight, the trunk and the legs extend
backward; the further back the trunk
extends, the greater the maximum
forward velocity of the upper trunk
and head. Force is produced by a strong
contraction of the trunk flexors, hip
flexors, and knee extensors before
impact (20). After impact, the jumping
header finishes the movement with the
landing phase.
It is clear how take off is a key point to
reach a consistent jump height and
needs specific training. This phase is
similar to a counter movement jump
(CMJ) (with both legs or with a single
leg depending on the game situation),
where the muscles involved are first
stretched and then shortened to accel-
erate the limb. As a consequence,
storage of elastic energy in both muscle
and tendon occurs, with a direct re-
utilization in the subsequent concentric
phase, contributing to increase the
jump performance (5). Another con-
tribution to strengthen the concentric
action is because of the increase of
muscle neural stimulation elicited by
the mechanical stretch stimulus
(10,11). This action of the lower limb
muscles, known as stretch-shortening
cycle (SSC) (17), involves some inter-
esting neural and mechanical processes
extensively studied in the scientific
literature (5,8,10,12,23). A second train-
ing point is the strengthening of trunk
and hip flexors together with the knee
extensors to obtain great trunk and head
acceleration for a powerful ball heading.
In addition, the complexity of heading
the ball requests great degree of coor-
dination. As a matter of fact, explo-
sive strength depends on the level of
intermuscular coordination considering
agonist, antagonist, and synergist muscle
activities. In fast movements, low levels
of resistance should be recorded, and the
relaxation of the antagonist muscles
should be simultaneous and well coor-
dinated with the agonist ones. In this
heading; soccer; vertical jump
VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2012 Copyright ÓNational Strength and Conditioning Association
direction, specific training may reduce
agonist-antagonist cocontractions, stre-
ngthening the coordination pattern and,
as a consequence, the role of agonist and
synergist muscles (23).
Literature investigations on soccer
heading concentrated mainly on bio-
mechanical aspects. Kristensen et al.
(20) investigated the segmental
characteristics in jumping headers with
particular attention to the head’s
velocity relative to the torso at impact
along with the contributions of the
upper and lower extremities (19).
Results showed that the head acceler-
ated relative to the torso throughout
the impact phase as a nonrestricted
free segment and that the arms had
little role in creating high ball speed
after impact. The authors concluded
that movement of the legs was
the single most important factor in
the skill. Because of the body jackknife
movement around the pelvis, the
authors suggest developing muscle
strength in the stomach, back, and
pelvis and to put no restrictions on
head and arm movement to optimize
the jumping header (20). Marcolin and
Petrone (21) proposed a functional
evaluation method considering the
height of the jump, the ball velocity,
and its angle after impact. In particular,
they identified a maximum efficient
heading elevation of the header related
to the ball speed increments and to the
correct ball angles useful to evaluate
training effects during the season.
Furthermore, they introduced an eleva-
tion index defined as the percent ratio
between the jump elevation and the
anthropometric height of each subject
and correlated it with the ball velocity
to classify a player’s ability to head high
balls with high impact energy. Shew-
chenko et al. (24) developed biome-
chanical methods and a numerical
model to investigate head impact re-
sponse and the influence of heading
technique. If the aim is to reduce impact
Figure 2. Jumping header technique. (a) Loading of the leg. (b) Take off and arms movement. (c) Trunk and legs backward extension.
(d) Ball impact. (e) Beginning of landing. Adapted with permission from Marcolin and Petrone (21).
Figure 1. Force/velocity and power relationship for skeletal muscle. Vm, maximal
velocity; Pm, maximal power output; Fm, maximal isometric force output.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 81
severity, their mathematical modeling
suggested an increased risk of neck
loads performing alternative techniques.
Bosco and Komi (5) studied the rela-
tionship between jump performance
and stretch load application showing
an increase of the jump height with
an increase in the stretch load. This
explains, for example, why in the drop
jump, the performance improves with
the increase of the drop height. On the
other hand, a too high stimulus with
excessive stretch loads lead to an
inhibition of the muscle contraction
because of the Golgi tendon organ
reflex (10,23). It is noteworthy that
nonathletes or athletes unaccustomed
to intense SSC tasks may show better
performance during a CMJ than during
a drop jump, and often, their drop jump
height could be lower than the squat
jump (SJ) (23). It also appears logical
that vertical jump performance imp-
roves more markedly after strength
training in subjects with an initial low
value (1) than in previously strength-
trained athletes (12). In addition, com-
bined strength-power training seems to
be more effective than power or
strength training alone in recreationally
trained subjects (7). According to these
results, it is clear that the ability to
rapidly generate force is the major
contributor to vertical jump height both
in presence of SSC (CMJ) and in the
absence of it (SJ) (6). For soccer players,
both skills are important to be trained,
allowing development of great levels of
strength in short periods (Figure 3).
Many scientists (11,3) demonstrated the
importance of mRFD for explosive per-
formance and that squat training with
heavy loads (70–120% of 1RM) improves
maximal isometric strength but not
mRFD (13). Therefore, in soccer, in-
termediate loads should be preferred to
the heavy ones to train lower limb force
and power. To support this, recent data (2)
showed that weightlifting and plyometric
exercise have different effects on muscle
activation, and knee and hip angle of
soccer players, suggesting that weightlift-
ing training might be more appropriate in
the precompetition period improving
vertical jump height via changes in
power and technique (9), whereas the
plyometric exercises should be preferred
in the competition period.As reported in
the description of the jumping header
technique, trunk and hip flexors and also
abdominals have an important role in
giving speed to the impacted ball. The
trapezius muscle group stabilizes the
head and trunk in preparation for ball
impact (25). Therefore, weightlifting has
an important role not only for the
quadriceps but also in reinforcing the
role of the trapezius muscle groups in
heading the ball. For these reasons, in the
preseason, training including crunches
and jackknives should be taken into
account(18). During the transition phase
from precompetition to the com-
petition period, plyometric exercises
should be mixed with series of CMJs
(also with single leg) with the arms free
to move in such away to simulate
a double or a single-leg soccer heading
take off. The use of the ball is recom-
mended to improve the coordination of
the jumping heading and should be
emphasized above all inthe competition
period, whereas in the precompetition,
the main focus of the training should
be to increase the strength and muscle
power. An example of a periodized pro-
gram for ball heading in advancedsoccer
players is illustrated in the Table and
should be integrated with the other
athletic and technical training sessions.
The importance of jumping heading is
well documented in the literature; a study
across different soccer leagues indicated
that players impact the ball more than
6 times per game (20). This skill can also
determine the outcome of a match,
considering that in the Japan and Korea
´ration Internationale de Football
Association world cup, more than 20%
of the goals were scored by headers (20).
Vertical jump height, along with the
ability to head the ball with power, is
the key point for an efficient jumping
heading. Vertical jump performance
depends not only on lower limb level
of strength but also on the rate at which
they are able to generate force, on the
contraction velocity, on the ability of
SSC utilization, and on the degree of
intermuscular and intramuscular coor-
dination. The increase of strength
obtained with traditional weight train-
ing appears to be effective to increase
jump height only in athletes with low
level of initial strength. With experi-
enced well-trained athletes, programs
should aim to improve RFD and muscle
Figure 3. Time and force relationship in experts and beginners. Experts develop higher
levels of force in less time with respect to beginners.
VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2012
Training for Heading the Ball in Soccer
Weightlifting training program for vertical jump improvement in soccer headers
Preseason: Phase 1 (4 weeks) traditional lifting
Day A Day B Day C Day D
Bench press 4 38 RM* Squat 4 38 RM Lat pull-down 4 38 RM Technique of Olympic-style lifting;
only barbell without added loads
(snatch pull, clean pull, push press,
push jerk, overhead squat, power
clean, clean and jerk, snatch)
Incline bench press 3 310 RM Deadlift 4 38 RM Seated row 3 310 RM
Biceps barbell curl 3 38 RM Leg extension 3 310 RM Triceps pull-down 3 38RM
Biceps dumbbell incline bench 3 310 RM Seated leg curl 4 38 RM Triceps extension 3 310 RM
Jackknives 33max Shoulder press 3 38 RM Vertical calf 3 38RM
Lateral raises 3 310 RM Jackknives 33max
Crunches 33max
Precompetition: Phase 2 (4 weeks) traditional lifting and Olympic-style lifting
Day A Day B Day C
Power clean 5 35 RM Clean pulls 5 35 RM (floor) Snatch pulls (waist) 5 35RM
Snatch pulls (knee) 5 35 RM Push jerks 5 35 RM Push press 5 35RM
Bench press 4 36 RM Squat 4 36 RM Lateral pull-down 4 36RM
Push press 5 35 RM Stiff leg deadlift 4 36 RM Overhead squat 4 36RM
Competition: Phase 3 (4 weeks) Olympic-style lifting and plyometric training
Day A Day B
Clean and jerk 5 35 RM Snatch 5 35RM
Push jerks 5 35 RM Squat jumps (30% 1RM) 5 35RM
Drop jumps 3x8 Snatch pulls (waist) 5 35RM
Competition: Phase 4 (4 weeks) Olympic-style lifting and specific heading technique
Day A Day B
Clean and jerk 5 33 RM Snatch 5 33
Power clean 5 33 RM One leg ball heading jumps 5 35
Drop jumps with ball heading 5 35 Two legs ball heading jumps 5 35
* RM = repetition maximum.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 83
power output. Because of the multifac-
eted nature of the vertical jump, a mul-
tivariate training approach seems to be
more effective with respect to a single
approach because it provides various
stimuli for the development of different
athletic qualities. For this purpose,
particularly interesting seems to be the
combined training of traditional weight
training with sprints and Olympic-style
exercises performed in different periods
of the competitive season. The proposal
of plyometric exercises mixed with
a series of CMJs with the arms free to
move simulating a double or a single-leg
soccer heading take off is helpful to link
exercises focused on increased jump
height with training to improve trun-
k/lower limbs coordination. Finally,
a simplified video analysis method for
a functional evaluation of the jumping
headers considering some of the pa-
rameters presented in the literature (21)
such as jump height, ball velocity, and
the initial angle described by the ball
trajectory would be useful in comparing
the players classifying their ability in
heading high balls with high impact
energy and in evaluating training effects
during the season.
Antonio Paoli
is an assistant
professor of Exer-
cise and Sport Sci-
ence at the
University of
Bianco is an
assistant professor
of Fitness and
Human Perfor-
mance at the Uni-
versity of Palermo.
Antonio Palma
is a professor of
Human Perfor-
mance at the Uni-
versity of Palermo.
Marcolin is
a postdoctoral
research fellow at
the University of
1. Adams K, O’Shea JP, O’Shea KL, and
Climstein M. The effect of six weeks
of squat, plyometric and squat
plyometric training on power production.
J Appl Sci Sports Res 6: 36–41,
2. Arabatzi F, Kellis E, and Sae
`z-Saez De
Villarreal E. Vertical jump biomechanics
after plyometric, weight lifting, and
combined (weight lifting + plyometric)
training. J Strength Cond Res 24:
2440–2448, 2010.
3. Behm DG and Sale DG. Velocity specificity
of resistance training. Sports Med 15:
374–388, 1993.
4. Bo
¨hm H, Cole GK, Bru
¨ggemann GP, and
Ruder H. Contribution of muscle series
elasticity to maximum performance in
drop jumping. J Appl Biomech22: 3–13,
5. Bosco C and Komi PV. Mechanical
characteristics and fiber composition of
human leg extensor muscles. Eur J Appl
Physiol 24: 21–32, 1979.
6. Bosco C, Tihanyi J, Komi PV, Fekete G, and
Apor P. Store and recoil of elastic energy in
slow and fast types of human skeletal
muscles. Acta Physiol Scand 116:
343–349, 1982.
7. Cormie P, McCaulley GO, and
McBride JM. Power versus strength-
power jump squat training: Influence
on the load-power relationship. Med
Sci Sports Exerc 39: 996–1003,
8. Ettema GJC, Van Soest AJ, and
Huijing PA. The role of series elastic
structures in prestretch-induced work
enhancement during isotonic and isokinetic
contractions. J Exp Biol 154: 121–136,
9. Garhammer J. A review of power output
studies of Olympic and powerlifting:
Methodology, performance, prediction, and
evaluation tests. J AppI Sport Sci Res 7:
76–89, 1993.
10. Gollhofer A and Kyroelaeinen H.
Neuromuscular control of the human leg
extensor muscles in jump exercises under
various stretch-load conditions. Int J Sports
Med 12: 34–40, 1991.
11. Ha
¨kkinen K. Neuromuscular and hormonal
adaptations during strength and power
training. J Sports Med 29: 9–26,
12. Ha
¨kkinen K, Komi PV, and Ale
Effect of explosive type strength training on
isometric force- and relaxation-time,
electromyographic and muscle fibre
characteristics of leg extensor muscles.
Acta Physiol Scand 125: 587–600,
13. Ha
¨kkinen K, Komi PV, and Tesch PA.
Effect of combined concentric and
eccentric strength training and
detraining on force-time, muscle fiber
and metabolic characteristics of leg
extensor muscles. Scand J Sports Sci 7:
65–76, 1991.
14. Hill AV. The heat of shortening and the
dynamic constants of muscle. Proc R Soc
Lond B 126: 136–195, 1938.
15. James RS, Navas CA, and Herrel A.
How important are skeletal muscle
mechanics in setting limits on jumping
performance? J Exp Biol 210(Pt 6): 923–
933, 2007.
16. Knuttgen HG and Kraemer WJ.
Terminology and measurement in exercise
performance. J AppI Sport Sci Res 1:
1–10, 1987.
17. Komi PV. The stretch-shortening
cycle and human power output. In:
Human Muscle Power. Jones NL,
McCartney N, and McComas AJ, eds.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1986.
pp. 27–39.
18. Kotzamanidis C, Chatzopoulos D,
Michailidis C, Papaiakovou G, and
Patikas D. The effect of a combined
high-intensity strength and speed
training program on the running and
jumping ability of soccer players.
J Strength Cond Res 19: 369–375,
19. Kristensen LB. Investigation of segmental
characteristics in powerful soccer heading.
ISBS Symposia 2002. Caceres, Spain,
2002. pp. 409–412.
20. Kristensen LB, Andersen TB, and
Sørensen H. Optimizing segmental
movement in the jumping header in
soccer. Sport Biomech 3: 195–208,
21. Marcolin G and Petrone N. A method for
the performance evaluation of jumping
headers in soccer. ISBS Symposia
July 14-18, 2006. Salzburg, Austria,
VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2012
Training for Heading the Ball in Soccer
22. McCaulley GO, Cormie P, Cavill MJ,
Nuzzo JL, Urbiztondo ZG, and McBride JM.
Mechanical efficiency during repetitive
vertical jumping. Eur J Appl Physiol 101:
115–123, 2007.
23. Schmidtbleicher D. Training for power
events. In: Strength and Power in Sport.
Komi PV, ed. Oxford, United Kingdom:
Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1992.
pp. 381–395.
24. Shewchenko N, Withnall C, Keown M,
Gittens R, and Dvorak J. Heading in
football. Part 2: Biomechanics of ball
heading and head response. Br J
Sports Med 39(Suppl 1): i26–i32,
25. Sunami S and Maruyama T. Motion and EMG
analysis of soccer-ball heading for the lateral
direction. Football Science 5: 7–17, 2008.
26. Zatsiorsky VM. Biomechanics of
strength and strength training. In:
Strength and Power in Sport. Komi PV, ed.
Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell
Scientific Publications, 2003. pp. 439–487.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | 85
... One of the key factors in heading maneuvers is the vertical jump height. One-foot and two-feet jumping headers have different characteristics but, in both cases, jumping height is critical, depending on well-developed lower-limb intermuscular coordination, elastic energy storage in both muscle and tendon, stretch-shortening cycle, and the strengthening of trunk and hip flexors (Bosco and Komi 1979;Paoli et al. 2012). A previous study concluded that increase of the 'elevation' index (ratio in percentage between vertical height reached by head marker and subjects' height) contributes to improving ball directionality as, at higher heights, players are able to touch the ball under better conditions for passing, shooting, intercepting, or clearing the ball (Marcolin and Petrone 2007). ...
... Despite the importance of vertical jump height for heading (Marcolin and Petrone 2007;Paoli et al. 2012), the majority of studies on the topic have focused on other aspects, such as head acceleration (Caccese et al. 2018), kinetic variables (i.e., ground reaction force) (Paoli et al. 2012), and other kinematic variables (i.e., segmental characteristics) (Kristensen et al. 2004;Erkmen 2009). ...
... Despite the importance of vertical jump height for heading (Marcolin and Petrone 2007;Paoli et al. 2012), the majority of studies on the topic have focused on other aspects, such as head acceleration (Caccese et al. 2018), kinetic variables (i.e., ground reaction force) (Paoli et al. 2012), and other kinematic variables (i.e., segmental characteristics) (Kristensen et al. 2004;Erkmen 2009). ...
Full-text available
Objective: In soccer, vertical jump means jumping toward a ball. Since no vertical jump test includes the ball as a reference element, the effect that the ball would have in a vertical jump test is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the biomechanical differences between run-up vertical jump measurements without (Run-up Vertical Jump) and with ball inclusion (Heading Test). Methods: Twelve semi- and professional soccer players were recruited. Athletes performed both jump tests in a biomechanical laboratory, where kinetic and spatiotemporal variables were collected and compared using a Student’s dependent t-test for paired samples. Results: Overall, players performed a different jumping strategy during the heading test compared to the run-up vertical jump, exhibiting: 1) higher horizontal velocity during initial contact (+45.3%, P ≤ .001), 2) shorter contact time, greater rate of force development, and total impulse during push-off (+27.5%, +53%, and +10.6%, respectively, P ≤ .008), 3) higher CoM horizontal and resultant velocity during take-off (+76.1% and 20.5%, respectively, P ≤ .001), 4) better vertical jump performance (+4.3%, P ≤ .0001), and 5) larger body angle rotation during landing (+63.3%, P = .006), compared to run-up vertical jump (effect size: 0.78 to 3.7). Conclusion: In general, soccer players display greater vertical jump heights in heading test, which highlights the importance of including an overhead ball during soccer-specific jump tests. Coaches and practitioners are encouraged to assess, and perhaps develop, the jumping ability of soccer players using a suspended ball as a specific target.
... After strength and plyometric training, torque around the knee joint within a kicking position (similar to that of a tackle) was seen to be increased by up to 13.6% (25). Similarly, both vertical jump height and levels of maximal strength have been reported as essential to heading performance (15,20,24), with players who display superior jumping ability having the potential to produce headers with greater ball velocity (20). ...
... The study results show a direct relationship between both SJ and CMJ height with a player's ability to successfully head the ball. This is a finding that had been previously supported within the literature that states that vertical jump height, generated through explosive strength, is a key factor in successfully heading the ball (15,20,24). This is of little surprise as the literature further explains that player take-off when attempting to jump for the ball closely matches with that of the CMJ (24). ...
... This is a finding that had been previously supported within the literature that states that vertical jump height, generated through explosive strength, is a key factor in successfully heading the ball (15,20,24). This is of little surprise as the literature further explains that player take-off when attempting to jump for the ball closely matches with that of the CMJ (24). It should be reinforced that during this study only headers where 2 opposing player AU11 s left the ground, and were in direct physical competition with each other, were included for the analysis. ...
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the importance of strength and power in relation to key performance indicators (KPI's) within competitive soccer match play. This was achieved through using an experimental approach where fifteen subjects were recruited from a professional soccer club's scholarship squad during the 2013/14 season. Following anthropometric measures, power and strength were assessed across a range of tests which included the squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), 20 metre (m) sprint and arrowhead change of direction test. A predicted 1-repetition maximum (RM) was also obtained for strength by performing a 3RM test for both the back squat and bench press and a total score of athleticism (TSA) was provided by summing z-scores for all fitness tests together, providing one complete score for athleticism. Performance analysis data was collected during 16 matches for the following KPIs: passing, shooting, dribbling, tackling and heading. Alongside this, data concerning player ball involvements (touches) was recorded. Results showed that there was a significant correlation (p < 0.05) between CMJ (r = 0.80), SJ (r = 0.79) and TSA (r = 0.64) in relation to heading success. Similarly, a significant correlation (p < 0.05) between predicted 1RM squat strength and tackle success (r = 0.61). These data supports the notion that strength and power training are important to soccer performance, particularly when players are required to win duels of a physical nature. There were no other relationships found between the fitness data and the KPI's recorded during match play which may indicate that other aspects of player's development such as technical skill, cognitive function and sensory awareness are more important for soccer-specific performance.
... To the best of our knowledge, very few studies analysed headers and, even so, in a very reductive way (Dellal et al., 2011;Kristensen et al., 2004;Liu et al., 2016;Paoli et al., 2012;Rampinini et al., 2009;Vint & Hinrichs, 1996). However, a header is an integral and important action in high-performance football. ...
... Within two-feet jumping technique, the feet positioning varies. Considering the varied essence of the vertical jump, a variety of training techniques might be more effective compared to a narrow approach (Paoli et al., 2012). ...
This study aimed to gather information about game situations where headers in high-performance football were performed and to characterise how headers were executed in different game situations. A multidimensional observational system was designed to characterise the header situation and technical execution. A sample of 920 headers were randomly collected from the English Premier League 2017–2018 season, using InStat Scout® website platform. Frequency analysis of headers showed that (1) most led to ball losses; (2) almost half was performed during set plays, especially in goal kicks and throw-ins; (3) a substantial amount was executed to prevent spatial progress of opponents when employing direct attacks with long passes. Chi-square analyses revealed significant associations (p < 0.05) between the following variables: header purpose and player position (large effect size – ES), movement and jump type (medium ES), game state and player movement, game state and jump type, space of occupation and opponent players as well as header type, header purpose and jump type, header purpose and opponent players, pass and jump type, pass and opponent players, and pass and player position (small ES). Based on the current findings, coaches are strongly encouraged to design representative training environments for headers considering position-specific needs, and to promote practice tasks and game strategies for maintaining/regaining ball possession after a player’s intentional header.
... Previous studies on this topic have revealed positive correlations between lower limb muscle strength and sprint ability and balance [15]. Regarding vertical jump, its performance is not solely dependent on lower limb strength, but also on the rate at which the muscle units are able to generate force, the speed of contraction, the ability to use the stretching-shortening cycle and the degree of inter-and intramuscular coordination [16]. ...
Full-text available
Muscle strength, power, balance and speed assume decisive roles in football performance. This study aims to investigate whether lower limb flexibility, particularly the hip flexors and knee extensor and flexor muscles, are correlated with vertical jump performance, balance and speed in adult football players. A sample of 22 male amateur football players (age: 22.3 ± 3 years; height: 175.4 ± 7.4 cm; weight: 74.9 ± 11.6 kg; BMI: 24.2 ± 2.6 kg/m2) were assessed for lower limb flexibility, vertical jump, balance and speed. Results indicated that vertical jump ability is moderately correlated with left knee extensors flexibility (ρ = −0.426; p = 0.048), which did not occur on the right side. There were no statistically significant correlations between vertical jump and knee flexors flexibility (ρ = 0.330; p = 0.133). In balance, the reaching distance on the right side presented a moderate and statistically significant correlation with the knee flexors flexibility (ρ = 0.411; p = 0.040), which was not observed on the left side. Velocity was not correlated with the knee extensors flexibility (right: ρ = 0.360; p = 0.100; left: ρ = 0.386; p = 0.076), or with the knee flexors flexibility (ρ = −0.173; p = 0.440). In conclusion, the influence of flexibility on vertical jump ability, balance and speed appears to exist. Further research should seek to clarify the associations between these abilities.
... The player's vertical jump performance (height) seems to be a clear plus for better performance in heading (Marcolin & Petrone, 2007;Paoli et al., 2012). The maximum effective heading elevation of the header related to the ball speed increments and to the correct ball angles (Marcolin & Petrone, 2007). ...
Full-text available
The aims of this study were (a) to assess intra-session reliability and usefulness of the soccer-specific maximum vertical jump (heading test, HT) and (b) to analyse the validity of the easy-to-use and cost-effective instrument (smartphone camera, MOB) compared with gold-standard instrument (3D motion capture system, MOCAP) to obtain the vertical jump performance during HT. Twelve semi-professional high-level and fifteen amateur soccer male players (23.9 ± 3.6 years) performed three HT attempts, and kinematic data were recorded with MOB and MOCAP. Intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV) were used as measures of intra-session reliability. T-test with Cohen’s effect size (ES), Pearson’s product moment and Bland-Altman analysis were used to obtain MOB validity. Regarding intra-session reliability, the CV was 1.13%, and ICC was 0.98, considered acceptable. Respecting validity criteria did not reveal significant differences (p < 0.05; effect size = 0.06, considered trivial), ‘almost perfect’ correlation (Pearson) (r = 0.98; p < 0.05), and strong agreement were obtained between MOB and MOCAP. This finding showed a test (HT) with a specific character, using cost-effective instrument and applicable to all soccer fields (adjusted to the standardised lines in the soccer field), all of them backed-up by reliability, usefulness and validity criteria.
... Since soccer and basketball players are required to win duels in the air to gain advantage over the opponent, there is a need to optimize jumping ability from early ages, attending to specific sport demands [65,66], thus it is a training goal for coaches aiming at improving both strength and sport-specific technical skills [13]. In line with this, vertical jump height is crucial for an efficient ball heading (i.e., when an athlete attempts to play the ball in the air with his or her head) in soccer players, with interception, a head pass, clearance or shot the final purpose of the action [67,68], whereas horizontal jump distance has been positively correlated with successful rebounds and block actions per game in basketball players [69]. The results of the present study revealed no significant differences between soccer and basketball youth players for bilateral and unilateral multiplanar jumping performance. ...
Full-text available
This study was performed aimed at comparing multidirectional bilateral and unilateral jump performance and passive range of motion (ROM) of lower limbs between soccer and basketball young players and evaluating associations between inter-limb ROM asymmetry and bilateral jump performance. A total of 67 young male athletes participated in this study, who were classified as soccer (n = 40; 15.55 ± 1.5 y; 1.76 ± 0.12 m; 58.15 ± 10.82 kg; 19.84 ± 2.98 kg·m ² ) and basketball (n = 27; 15.7 ± 1.66 y; 1.76 ± 0.12 m; 62.33 ± 16.57 kg; 19.84 ± 2.98 kg·m ² ) players. Participants were asked to perform bilateral and unilateral multidirectional jumps, and passive ROM of hip (flexion, extension and abduction), knee (flexion) and ankle (dorsiflexion) joints was also assessed. Significant between-group differences were observed for hip extension with flexed knee ROM in dominant (soccer: 142.43 ± 7.74°; basketball: 148.63 ± 8.10°) and non-dominant (soccer: 144.38 ± 8.36°; basketball: 148.63 ± 6.45°) legs; hip flexion with flexed knee ROM in dominant (soccer: 13.26 ± 4.71°; basketball: 9.96 ± 3.42°) and non-dominant (soccer: 12.86 ± 4.55°; basketball: 9.70 ± 3.62°) legs; and for the ratio of hip abduction (soccer: 1.02 ± 0.08; basketball: 0.97 ± 0.11). However, no significant between-group differences were observed for bilateral and unilateral jump capacity, or for inter-limb asymmetries (dominant vs. non-dominant leg). Finally, no associations were observed between ROM ratio (dominant vs. non-dominant leg) and bilateral jump performance. These findings lead to the suggestion that differences on passive ROM values in young male athletes may be sport-specific. Additionally, there seems to be need for the implementation of training strategies specifically aimed at improving bilateral or unilateral jump ability, or at diminishing inter limb passive ROM differences in order to improve multidirectional jump performance for neither soccer nor basketball youth male players.
... al., 2018), and defines it as an ability to maximize the acceleration of one's own body, object or partner in activities of throwing, jumping, kicking and sprinting (Milanović, Bašić, & Milanović, 2005;Jezdimirović, et. al., 2013). It is essential for the players to get the necessary height of the jump during a duel game (Knuttgen, & Kraemer, 1987;Paoli, Bianco, Palma, et. al., 2012). Explosive power in the form of a vertical jump is considered extremely functional for optimal performance in football and is taken into account when testing capabilities and talent selection (Stølen, 2005;Castagna, & Castellini, 2013), as well as the identification of bilateral differences (Sannicandro, et. al., 2012;Menzel, et. al., 2 ...
Full-text available
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of 5 month kettlebell-based training on jumping performance, balance, blood pressure and heart rate in female classical ballet dancers. It was a clinical trial study with 23 female dancers (age = 21.74 ± 3.1 years; body height = 168.22 ± 5.12 cm; body mass = 53.69 ± 5.91 kg) took part in the study. Participants were divided into two groups: a kettlebell group (n = 13), that followed a commercial kettlebell training protocol named the "Simple & Sinister protocol", and a traditional dance training control group (n = 10). In the kettlebell group, kettlebell training completely replaced the jump and balance section of dance classes. Both groups performed balance and jumping tests before and after the training period. Blood pressure and the heart rate were also measured. The kettlebell group showed significant improvements in the balance tests (antero-posterior and medio-lateral oscillation) with both legs and eyes open as well as in all types of jump exercises (unrotated: +39.13%, p < 0.005; with a turnout: +53.15%, p < 0.005), while maximum and minimum blood pressure and the heart rate decreased significantly (max:-7.90%, p < 0.05; min:-9.86%, p < 0.05; Heart rate:-17.07%, p < 0.01). The results for the control group were non-significant for any variable. Comparison between groups showed significant differences for all variables analyzed, with greater improvements for the kettlebell group. Our results suggest that specific kettlebell training could be effective in improving jump performance and balance in classical dancers to a significantly greater degree compared to classical dance training.
Full-text available
1 Finland HÄKKINEN K., KOMI P.V. & TESCH P.A. Effect of ccmbined concentric ard eccentric strength training and detraining on force-time, muscle fiber-and metabolic characteristics of leg extensor muscles. Scand. J ,Sports Sci. 3 (2): 50-58, 1981. Prog¡essive strength training of combined concentric and eccentric contractions were performed three times a week for 16 weeks by 14 males {20-30 yrs of age) accustomed to weight training. The training peeriod was iollowed bv 8 weeks of detraining. The training program consisted mainly of dynamic exeicises for the ieg-extensovs with loads of 80 to 120 of one maximum repetition The training caused significant improvements in-maximal force (p < 0.001) and various force-time (p (0.05-4.01) para¡àeters. Du¡ing thg I'ast trarning àionìh tbe inãrease in force was gireatly tri¡nited' and there was ¿ decrease in th,e force-time parameters. The marked improvements in mwcle strength were accompanied by ccnsiderable intemål qdaptatioos ,Ín-ttre tnaCned muscle, as Judged from l¡rcreases (p < 0-001) ,iqr. the fibet ãeas ôt tËe Ïast fi¡¡itch (FT) and slow twitch (ST) fibers. Durlng early conditioning improvement i! the qqgs! jump w,as related to tl.e relãtive hypertrop]ty of tr1l ii¡eis fo <0.01). No sier¡j-Êi,cå,r¡t ct¡anges ,in tJre er¡zyme aittv¡tiês oi mÍoki¡¡ase-a¡¡d creatine kirmse were found as a result of-tra¡rrir}g, but i,ndividt¡al charrges in my-o-kinase activity $/ere related to the relative. hypertrop'hy of FT fibers-(p ç 0.05) and Improvernent i+ the squat jump (p < O.Of)-during early conditiontuag. All the ada,p-iatlo:ns'-incilcating musõle hypertrophy occurred. prtm@lv during the last two training mo¡rths. Decreases (p (0.001) in maxirnal force during the detrairring were accompâ-nied bv a sisrificår¡t rediuction in the fi¡b,er areas of ttle fC tp < 0.01) and ST (p < 0.05) tvpes end by a change in bödy-antliropometry.-A periodiè-and partial usage. of àccentr-ic contráctions,-together with conèentric training' is suggested to be effectiùe in training for-maximal force and äso for force-time eharacteristics. In training of longer durations the specific effects of strength trainlng are-obviot¡s and explaiñable by adaptatlons in the trained muscle. Keg tenns: erìzJûne actlvities, muscle mechanics, muscle metabollsn, muscle streng:th.
Full-text available
Weight loss is a major concern for the US population. Surveys consistently show that most adults are trying to lose or maintain weight (1). Nevertheless, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased steadily over the past 30 years. Currently, 50% of all adult Americans are con- sidered overweight or obese (2,3). These numbers have serious public health implications. Excess weight is associ- ated with increased mortality (4) and morbidity (5). It is associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, and some types of cancer (6,7). Most people who are trying to lose weight are not using the recommended combination of reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity (1). Although over 70% of persons reported using each of the following strategies at least once in 4 years, increased exercise (82.2%), decreased fat intake (78.7%), reduced food amount (78.2%,) and re- duced calories (73.2%), the duration of any one of these behaviors was brief. Even the most common behaviors were used only 20% of the time (8). Obesity-related conditions are significantly improved with modest weight loss of 5% to 10%, even when many patients remain considerably overweight (6). The Institute of Medicine (9) defined successful long-term weight loss as a 5% reduction in initial body weight (IBW) that is main- tained for at least 1 year. Yet data suggest that such losses are not consistent with patients’ goals and expectations. Foster (10) reported that in obese women (mean body mass index [BMI] of 36.3 􏰃 4.3) goal weights targeted, on average, a 32% reduction in IBW, implying expectations that are unrealistic for even the best available treatments. Interestingly, the most important factors that influenced the Address correspondence to Dr. Janet King, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, University of California, 1 Shield Avenue, Building Surge IV, Room 213, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail: jking@ Copyright © 2001 NAASO selection of goal weights were appearance and physical comfort rather than change in medical condition or weight suggested by a doctor or health care professional. Is it any wonder that overweight individuals are willing to try any new diet that promises quick, dramatic results more in line with their desired goals and expectations than with what good science supports? The proliferation of diet books is nothing short of phe- nomenal. A search of books on using the key words “weight loss” revealed 1214 matches. Of the top 50 best-selling diet books, 58% were published in 1999 or 2000 and 88% were published since 1997. Many of the top 20 best sellers at promote some form of carbo- hydrate (CHO) restriction (e.g., Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Rev- olution, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, Protein Power, Lauri’s Low-Carb Cookbook). This dietary advice is counter to that promulgated by governmental agencies (US Department of Agriculture [USDA]/Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health) and nongovernmental organizations (American Dietetic Associ- ation, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, and Shape Up America!). What is really known about popular diets? Is the in- formation scientifically sound? Are popular diets effec- tive for weight loss and/or weight maintenance? What is the effect, if any, on composition of weight loss (fat vs. lean body mass), micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) status, metabolic parameters (e.g., blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, lipid levels, uric acid, and ketone bodies)? Do they affect hunger and appetite, psy- chological well-being, and reduction of risk for chronic disease (e.g., coronary heart disease, diabetes, and osteo- porosis)? What are the effects of these diets on insulin and leptin, long-term hormonal regulators of energy in- take and expenditure? The objective of this article is to review the scientific literature on various types of popular diets based on their macronutrient composition in an attempt to answer these questions (see Appendix for diet summaries).
Full-text available
While experimental and observational studies suggest that sugar intake is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, independent of its role in obesity, it is unclear whether alterations in sugar intake can account for differences in diabetes prevalence among overall populations. Using econometric models of repeated cross-sectional data on diabetes and nutritional components of food from 175 countries, we found that every 150 kcal/person/day increase in sugar availability (about one can of soda/day) was associated with increased diabetes prevalence by 1.1% (p <0.001) after testing for potential selection biases and controlling for other food types (including fibers, meats, fruits, oils, cereals), total calories, overweight and obesity, period-effects, and several socioeconomic variables such as aging, urbanization and income. No other food types yielded significant individual associations with diabetes prevalence after controlling for obesity and other confounders. The impact of sugar on diabetes was independent of sedentary behavior and alcohol use, and the effect was modified but not confounded by obesity or overweight. Duration and degree of sugar exposure correlated significantly with diabetes prevalence in a dose-dependent manner, while declines in sugar exposure correlated with significant subsequent declines in diabetes rates independently of other socioeconomic, dietary and obesity prevalence changes. Differences in sugar availability statistically explain variations in diabetes prevalence rates at a population level that are not explained by physical activity, overweight or obesity.
Full-text available
This study looks at segmental movements in the jumping header from an optimization viewpoint. Investigations on the header so far have focused on head restriction in the movement but have not clarified how and to what extent body segments influence the performance of the skill. In the present study a biomechanical model was used to analyze the jumping header in simulated competition to give a clear picture of an optimized header. Skilled soccer players headed balls at speeds of 13 m.s.‐1 the results indicated that the head moves as a free non‐restricted segment in the jumping header and should be allowed to do so, even though much soccer literature says otherwise to prevent injuries. The arm movement showed individual characteristics and gave no general advantages in optimizing ball speed after impact in the header. The movement of the legs was, on the other hand, the single most important factor in the skill.Therefore, coaches and players should focus on developing muscle strength in the stomach, back and pelvis and should put no restrictions on head and arm movement to optimize the jumping header.
The contribution of muscle in-series compliance on maximum performance of the muscle tendon complex was investigated using a forward dynamic computer simulation. The model of the human body contains 8 Hill-type muscles of the lower extremities. Muscle activation is optimized as a function of time, so that maximum drop jump height is achieved by the model. It is shown that the muscle series elastic energy stored in the downward phase provides a considerable contribution (32%) to the total muscle energy in the push-off phase. Furthermore, by the return of stored elastic energy all muscle contractile elements can reduce their shortening velocity up to 63% during push-off to develop a higher force due to their force velocity properties. The additional stretch taken up by the muscle series elastic element allows only m. rectus femoris to work closer to its optimal length, due to its force length properties. Therefore the contribution of the series elastic element to muscle performance in maximum height drop jumping is to store and return energy, and at the same time to increase the force producing ability of the contractile elements during push-off.
torso, throughout the impact phase and that the mass impacting the ball (13.8 % of the whole body mass) was a significant larger mass than the head's mass alone. Furthermore, the segmental angular momentum of the legs indicated that these segments were used mechanically well in the execution of the skill, while this was not the case with the arms. From the development of the segmental velocity and angular momentum throughout the heading phase, it could also be concluded, that the over all timing of the skill was not optimum.
The aim of the present work was to develop a method for the evaluation of soccer heading performance in jumping headers by means of a stereophotogrammetric system. Three non-professional players were involved in this pilot study. The attention was focused on the following variables: the player's jump height at the impact instant, the ball velocity variation and the initial ball angle after the impact with the forehead of the player. The analysis of these parameters permitted to characterize the biomechanical technique and the performance ability of each player in such a way that a trainer can define individual procedures to improve the efficacy of this fundamental skill in soccer. Finally an Elevation Index (E.I.) was developed to compare the players performances and to draft a ranking between them. INTRODUCTION: It is well known that in modern soccer an efficient technique in heading the ball is very important. There are several ways to impact the ball and the choice of the proper one is determined by the situation during the match. Investigations from a biomechanical point of view concentrated in two kinds of headers: the standing header and the jumping header. The first was investigated by Burslem and Lees (1998) in terms of head acceleration during the impact. Later, Kristensen (2002) investigated the segmental characteristics in jumping headers with particular attention to the head's velocity relatively to the torso at the impact instant and to the arm and leg influence on heading the ball. The purpose of this study was to develop a repeatable standard test procedure to evaluate the performance of each jumping header in terms of the following parameters: the ball velocity variation, the height of the jump at the instant of impact and the initial angle described by the ball trajectory. The introduction of an Elevation Index allowed to compare the testers involved in the study in order to evaluate the player's attitude and ability in this complex but very important skill in soccer. METHOD: