Use of an overhead goal alters vertical jump performance and biomechanics

Kevin R. Ford, Gregory D. Myer, Rose L. Smith, Robyn N. Byrnes, Sara E. Dopirak, Timothy Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations


This study examined whether an extrinsic motivator, such as an overhead goal, during a plyometric jump may alter movement biomechanics. Our purpose was to examine the effects of an overhead goal on vertical jump height and lower-extremity biomechanics during a drop vertical jump and to compare the effects on female (N = 18) versus male (N = 17) athletes. Drop vertical jump was performed both with and without the use of an overhead goal. Greater vertical jump height (p = 0.002) and maximum takeoff external knee flexion (quadriceps) moment (p = 0.04) were attained with the overhead goal condition versus no overhead goal. Men had significantly greater vertical jump height (p < 0.001), maximum takeoff vertical force (p = 0.009), and maximum takeoff hip extensor moment (p = 0.02) compared with women. A significant gender x overhead goal interaction was found for stance time (p = 0.02) and maximum ankle (p = 0.04) and knee flexion angles (p = 0.04), with shorter stance times and lower angles in men during overhead goal time. These results indicate that overhead goals may be incorporated during training and testing protocols to alter lower-extremity biomechanics and can increase performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-399
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Drop vertical jump
  • Hip extensor moment
  • Neuromuscular training
  • Plyometric training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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