Data from: Operating length and velocity of human M. vastus lateralis fascicles during vertical jumping
Nikolaidou, Maria Elissavet et al. (2017), Data from: Operating length and velocity of human M. vastus lateralis fascicles during vertical jumping, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sd632
Humans achieve greater jump height during a counter-movement jump (CMJ) than in a squat jump (SJ). However, the crucial difference is the mean mechanical power output during the propulsion phase, which could be determined by intrinsic neuro-muscular mechanisms for power production. We measured M. vastus lateralis (VL) fascicle length changes and activation patterns and assessed the force–length, force–velocity and power–velocity potentials during the jumps. Compared with the SJ, the VL fascicles operated on a more favourable portion of the force–length curve (7% greater force potential, i.e. fraction of VL maximum force according to the force–length relationship) and more disadvantageous portion of the force–velocity curve (11% lower force potential, i.e. fraction of VL maximum force according to the force–velocity relationship) in the CMJ, indicating a reciprocal effect of force–length and force–velocity potentials for force generation. The higher muscle activation (15%) could therefore explain the moderately greater jump height (5%) in the CMJ. The mean fascicle-shortening velocity in the CMJ was closer to the plateau of the power–velocity curve, which resulted in a greater (15%) power–velocity potential (i.e. fraction of VL maximum power according to the power–velocity relationship). Our findings provide evidence for a cumulative effect of three different mechanisms—i.e. greater force–length potential, greater power–velocity potential and greater muscle activity—for an advantaged power production in the CMJ contributing to the marked difference in mean mechanical power (56%) compared with SJ.