February 2022

No Association between Jump Parameters and Tissue Stiffness in the Quadriceps and Triceps Surae Muscles in Recreationally Active Young Adult Males

Authors: Andreas Konrad 1, 2, Florian Kurt Paternoster 2


  1. Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, Graz University, 8010 Graz, Austria
  2. Associate Professorship of Biomechanics in Sports, Technical University of Munich, 80992 Munich, Germany

Journal: Applied Sciences - February 2022, Volume 12, Issue 3, Article no. 1596 (DOI: 10.3390/app12031596)

    Field & Applications:
  • Sport

While the main contributor for drop jump (DJ) performance is the calf muscle-tendon unit (MTU), for countermovement jump (CMJ) performance, it is the quadriceps MTU. However, to date, it is not clear if the muscle and/or tendon stiffness of the respective MTUs can be related to DJ or CMJ performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between DJ and CMJ performance parameters and tissue stiffness (i.e., muscle stiffness, tendon stiffness) of the calf MTU and quadriceps MTU, respectively.

Consequently, with 16 healthy volunteers, the tissue stiffness of the gastrocnemius medialis (GM), gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) Achilles tendon (AT), vastus medialis (VM), vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), and patellar tendon (PT) were recorded with a Myoton device. Moreover, DJ and CMJ performances were assessed with a force plate. The alpha level was set to 0.05.

Pearson correlation coefficients revealed no significant association between DJ performance and GM, GL, or AT stiffness (−0.07 to 0.24; p > 0.05). Similarly, no association was found between CMJ performance parameters and VM, VL, RF, or PT stiffness (−0.13–0.36; p > 0.05).

According to our results, other variables, such as jump technique, body weight, or strength, were likely to play a more important role in DJ and CMJ performance.


Keywords: jumping, stiffness, Myoton, muscle, tendon

In summary, the data obtained in the current study showed no significant association between muscle and tendon stiffness of the respective muscles and DJ or CMJ perfor‐ mance variables. Therefore, it is likely that other variables, such as jump technique, body weight, or strength, play a more important role in DJ and CMJ performance. Hence, future studies should investigate such potential relationships. This would help to draw a clearer picture and to give training recommendations to improve jump performance.