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      Four weeks of training in a sledge jump system improved the jump pattern to almost natural reactive jumps.

      European Journal of Applied Physiology

      Adaptation, Physiological, physiology, Adult, Exercise, Female, Humans, Leg, Male, Muscle Contraction, Muscle, Skeletal, Physical Fitness, Psychomotor Performance

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          In spite of extensive training regimens during long-term space missions with existing training devices, astronauts suffer from muscle and bone loss. It has been suggested that reactive jumps inducing high forces in the muscles-consequently exposing the bones to high strains-help to counteract these degradations. In a previous study, a new sledge jump system (SJS) was found to allow fairly natural reactive jumps. The aim of the present study was to evaluate if training in the SJS would further reduce the differences between jumps in the SJS and normal jumps, particularly with respect to ground reaction forces (GRF) and rate of force development (RFD). Sixteen participants in a training group (TG) and 16 in a control group (CON) were tested before and after the TGs four-week hopping training in the SJS. During the tests, kinetic, kinematic and electromyographic data were compared between hops on the ground and in the SJS. After the training period, the GRF, the RFD and the leg stiffness in the SJS significantly increased for the TG (but not for CON) by 10, 35 and 38%, respectively. The kinematic and electromyographic data showed no significant changes. A short training regimen in the SJS reduced the differences between jumps in the SJS and normal jumps. Considering that a natural movement that exposes the muscles and thus also the bones to high loads is regarded as important for the preservation of muscle and bone, the SJS seems to be a promising countermeasure.

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