The countermovement jump mechanics of mixed martial arts competitors
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Center for Sport and Exercise Science Research
Gross countermovement jump (CMJ) performance measures are greater in higher-level mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors than lower-level (LL) competitors. Differences in CMJ kinetics and kinematics throughout the action may explain those CMJ performance differences, but this remains to be investigated. After warm-up and familiarization, 27 MMA competitors (divided into 2 groups based on competitive standard; higher level [HL]: n = 14 and LL: n = 13) completed 3 maximal effort CMJs. Power, force, velocity, displacement-time waveforms and eccentric phase displacement, eccentric time, eccentric impulse, and the modified reactive strength index (RSImod) were compared between groups using statistical parametric mapping procedures and independent t-tests. Power (between 65 and 71% of the power-time curve) was greater in the HL than that of the LL group (p = 0.01) despite no differences in eccentric displacement (p = 0.50) or movement time (p = 0.17) between groups. The HL group demonstrated a greater RSImod (p = 0.05) alongside a reduced eccentric time (p = 0.02) and eccentric impulse (p = 0.02). These findings suggest that timing and control of lower-body force production contributed to between-group differences in CMJ performance among MMA competitors.