Vertical Jump Test (Sargent Jump, Vertical Leap)

The vertical jump test is a test of lower body power. The test was first described nearly 100 years ago (Sargent, 1921). This procedure describes the method used for directly measuring the vertical jump height jumped. There are other methods using timing systems that measure the time of the jump and from that calculate the vertical jump height.

purpose: to measure the leg muscle power

equipment required: measuring tape or marked wall, chalk for marking wall (or Vertec or jump mat).

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

vertical jump

procedure (see also variations below): the athlete stands side on to a wall and reaches up with the hand closest to the wall. Keeping the feet flat on the ground, the point of the fingertips is marked or recorded. This is called the standing reach height. The athlete then stands away from the wall, and leaps vertically as high as possible using both arms and legs to assist in projecting the body upwards. The jumping technique can or cannot use a countermovement (see vertical jump technique). Attempt to touch the wall at the highest point of the jump. The difference in distance between the standing reach height and the jump height is the score. The best of three attempts is recorded.

variations: The vertical jump test can also be performed using a specialized apparatus called the Vertec. The procedure when using the Vertec is very similar to as described above. Jump height can also be measured using a jump mat which measures the displacement of the hips. To be accurate, you must ensure the feet land back on the mat with legs nearly fully extended. Vertical jump height can also be measured using a timing mat. The vertical jump test is usually performed with a counter movement, where there is bending of the knees immediately prior to the jump. The test can also be performed as a squat jump, starting from the position of knees being bent. Other test variations are to perform the test with no arm movement (one hand on hip, the other raised above the head) to isolate the leg muscles and reduce the effect of variations in coordination of the arm movements. The test can also be performed off one leg, with a step into the jump, or with a run-up off two feet or one foot, depending on the relevance to the sport involved. For more details see vertical jump technique.

scoring: The jump height is usually recorded as a distance score. See the vertical jump norm table to rate scores. For more information, see a selection of vertical jump test results. It is also possible to convert jump height into a power or work score.

advantages: this test is simple and quick to perform.

disadvantages: technique plays a part in maximizing your score, as the subject must time the jump so that the wall is marked at the peak of the jump.

comments: The jump height can be affected by how much you bend your knees before you jump, and the effective use of the arms. The test is also sometimes incorrectly spelled as the "Sergeant" or "Sargent" Test.

history: This method described above for measuring a person's vertical jump height is sometimes known as a Sargent Jump, named after Dudley Sargent, who was one of the pioneers in American physical education.

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