The Reactive Strength Index (RSI) measures muscletendon stress and their reactive jump capacity, important for athletes in sports requiring dynamic jumping activities. RSI is calculated by dividing the jump height by the ground contact time.
Testing Reactive Strength
The most commonly used test to calculate reactive strength test is the incremental drop jump test, which involves drop jumps from a series of heights, starting from a 30cm box and working upwards to a 75cm box. The RSI can also be measured using repeat hopping and jumping tasks. A quick and easy test of RSI is the "rebound jump test" involving a single double jump. There is also the 10/5 RSI test. In this test, like the rebound jump test, the athlete performs a single countermovement jump but upon landing immediately transitions into a series of 10 repeated, bilateral hops.
Reactive strength index (RSI) is the ratio between the height jumped and the ground contact time, calculated by dividing the jump height by the ground contact time. The jump height time is the time between the participant's feet leaving the timing mat or force platform and when they contacted it again. The vertical jump height in meters can be calculated from the jump time (in seconds) using this formula: jump height = 4.9 x (0.5 x Time)2. Ground contact time is the time between the first foot contact with the force platform and when the participant's feet left the mat.
For example, if an athlete jumped 36cm with a contact time of 0.18secs then they would have an RSI of 200. The athlete can therefore improve their RSI by increasing the height of their jump, by decreasing their ground contact time, or both of these.
You could also calculate RSI using the flight time as opposed to jump height. The RSI calculation would still be valid as it is a simple formula to convert jump height from jump time, and jump time is often easier to obtain.
- Flanagan, E.P., Ebben, W.P., and Jensen, R.L. (2008). Reliability of the reactive strength index and time to stabilization during depth jumps. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 22(5), pp.1677–1682.
- Incremental Drop Jump — the athlete jumps after a drop from a series of heights, starting from a 30cm box and working upwards to a 75cm box.
- Dynamic Strength Index — the ratio of ballistic peak force to isometric peak force.
- Vertical jump tests
- Force Plate Vertical Jump
- Multichannel Computerized Strength Dynamometer
- About Force Plates/Platforms
- Other Strength/Power Tests