Vertical Leap

The Effect of Custom Orthotics on the Vertical Leap of Athletes in a Sport Demanding Jumping
William M. Austin, D.C., C.C.S.P., C.C.R.D., Dennis Nosco, Ph.D., Nosco Consulting, and Jeffrey D. Olsen, D.C.


Objective:

To determine whether the use of custom-made orthotics can positively affect the vertical leap of a jump sport team in a controlled, blinded study.


Methods:
Eleven female high-school-age volleyball players from a club team were recruited into this study; they were all fitted for Foot Levelers’ custom-made Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers. Standing and three-step approach vertical reach were measured on separate days with and without Stabilizers to minimize complicating fatigue factors. Leaps were measured to the nearest half inch.


Results:

This pilot study showed “trends that would indicate that there is some benefit to orthotics in improving vertical leap, even in the limited exposure to orthotics (i.e., right before the test).”


Discussion:

The pilot study was performed with the intention of determining if a larger, more well-controlled study should be undertaken.


Conclusion:
The authors concluded that “there is a mean positive effect in both standing and three step approach when wearing orthotics during this test,” and that “further studies are warranted and needed to determine the magnitude, if any, of positive changes on vertical leap from orthotics.”

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