Elastic band assisted and resisted jump training may be a novel way to develop lower-body power. The purpose of this investigation was to (a) determine the kinetic differences between assisted, free, and resisted countermovement jumps and (b), investigate the effects of contrast training using either assisted, free, or resisted countermovement jump training on vertical jump performance in well-trained athletes. In part 1, 8 recreationally trained men were assessed for force output, relative peak power (PP·kg−1) and peak velocity during the 3 types of jump. The highest peak force was achieved in the resisted jump method, while PP·kg−1 and peak velocity were greatest in the assisted jump. Each type of jump produced a different pattern of maximal values of the variables measured, which may have implications for developing separate components of muscular power. In part 2, 28 professional rugby players were assessed for vertical jump height before and after 4 weeks of either assisted (n = 9), resisted (n = 11), or free (n = 8) countermovement jump training. Relative to changes in the control group (1.3 ± 9.2%, mean ± SD), there were clear small improvements in jump height in the assisted (6.7 ± 9.6%) and the resisted jump training group (4.0 ± 8.8%). Elastic band assisted and resisted jump training are both effective methods for improving jump height and can be easily implemented into current training programs via contrast training methods or as a part of plyometric training sessions. Assisted and resisted jump training is recommended for athletes in whom explosive lower-body movements such as jumping and sprinting are performed as part of competition.
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