Assessment of neuromuscular asymmetries by using vertical jump tests

How can asymmetries be detected using vertical jump tests?

Using standardized force and performance tests, the neuromuscular properties of the legs can be analyzed and potential asymmetries detected. Vertical jump tests such as the counter movement jump and squat jump are the two most suitable types of test here. To easily detect asymmetries, a force measurement plate system consisting of two 1D or 3D force plates is used. This allows force analyses of both legs to be performed independently of one another and left-right comparisons conducted.

If performed simultaneously with both legs, the counter movement jump can be used to immediately determine whether an asymmetry exists and if further clarification through additional tests is possible or necessary. After performing the squat test module, it is possible to more accurately determine the cause of the asymmetry. The squat test module is a symmetry test in which the ground reaction forces are measured in various positions: from upright standing, a half-squat and a deep squat.

This test can be used to determine the causes of the asymmetry, including:

  • A functional difference in the leg lengths
  • Muscular imbalances
  • Postural abnormalities
  • Problems in the lower back area
  • Hip immobility
  • Chronic pain
  • Injuries

How do modern performance diagnostics function using a force measurement plate system?

The sensors integrated in the force plates record standardized, highly dynamic movement sequences. Analysis software processes the data using predefined test modules for standardized tests for motion paths in the areas of force, power and balance. The results are made available in a clearly arranged graphical representation on a monitor. 

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