Have We Underestimated the Kinematic and Kinetic Benefits of Non-Ballistic Motion?

Document Type

Journal Article




Computing, Health and Science


Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science




This article was originally published as: Frost, D. , Cronin, J. B., & Newton, R. (2008). Have we underestimated the kinematic and kinetic benefits of non-ballistic motion?. Sports Biomechanics, 7(3), 372-385. Original article available here


Explosive upper-body movements, with which the load is not thrown (non-ballistic), may comprise a phase during which forces are produced in opposition to the motion of the load. Thirty men completed three test sessions (free weight, ballistic, and pneumatic), each consisting of a one-repetition maximum (1-RM) and four explosive repetitions of a bench press at six loads (15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90% 1-RM). The end of the lifting phase for the non-ballistic conditions (free weight and pneumatic) was defined by: the point of peak barbell displacement and the point at which the vertical force became negative (positive work). When analysed by peak displacement, the ballistic condition elicited significantly greater mean velocity, force, and power at loads of 15-60% 1-RM compared with the free weight condition. When the period of negative work was removed, the mean free weight velocity, force, and power at loads below 60% 1-RM increased. Consequently, the only differences between the free weight and ballistic conditions were found at loads of 15% and 30% 1-RM. Including a period of negative work may underestimate all kinematic and kinetic variables dependent on the time to, or position of, the end of the lifting phase, for non-ballistic efforts.




Link to publisher version (DOI)