Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Measuring Vertical Jump with a Force Plate presents a comprehensive guide to measuring vertical jump using a force plate. Whether you’re an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or researcher, this method offers valuable insights into vertical jump height and leg strength. Let’s dive into the details!

What is a Force Plate?

A force plate is a specialized tool utilized in scientific research to measure vertical jump height accurately. It consists of a rectangular metal plate with piezoelectric or strain gauge transducers attached at each corner. These transducers provide an electrical output proportional to the force exerted on the plate.

How Does It Work?

To measure maximum jump height, the subject stands on the force platform with their feet comfortably apart. They then jump as high as possible and land back on the platform. The force plate captures the ground reaction force, allowing for the calculation of force-time, acceleration-time, velocity-time, displacement-time, and force-displacement curves.

Advantages of Using a Force Plate

In addition to measuring jump height, a force plate provides a wealth of information for interpreting leg strength and power. By analyzing the various curves obtained from the measurements, researchers and trainers can gain valuable insights into an individual’s athletic performance.

Disadvantages and Considerations

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Despite its benefits, it is important to note that force plates can be expensive to purchase, maintain, and calibrate. This makes them more commonly used in research settings rather than everyday athletic training.


Measuring vertical jump height with a force plate offers a scientific and accurate method for evaluating leg strength and power. By understanding the principles behind this technology, athletes and researchers can make informed decisions regarding training and performance optimization.

Linthorne, Nicholas P., Analysis of standing vertical jumps using a force platform. Am. J. Phys., Vol. 69, No. 11, November 2001.


Q: How does a force plate measure vertical jump height?
A: A force plate captures the ground reaction force when an individual jumps, allowing for the calculation of various curves that determine jump height.

Q: Can I use a force plate for everyday athletic training?
A: Force plates are more commonly used in scientific research due to their cost and maintenance requirements. However, they provide valuable information for interpreting leg strength and power.

Q: What other methods are available for measuring vertical jump height?
A: There are several other methods for measuring vertical jump height, including jump mats and other vertical jump devices. Each method has its own advantages and considerations.

Q: Are there any disadvantages to using a force plate?
A: One disadvantage of using a force plate is the cost associated with purchasing, maintaining, and calibrating the equipment. This makes it more practical for research settings.


Measuring vertical jump height using a force plate provides an accurate and scientific approach to evaluating leg strength and power. By understanding the principles behind force plates, athletes and researchers can gain valuable insights into athletic performance. Despite the cost and maintenance considerations, the information obtained from a force plate can greatly benefit training and performance optimization. So, if you’re looking to take your vertical jump to new heights, consider incorporating a force plate into your training regimen.

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