Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


College of Education




Tendon mechanical properties and composition allow them to play a role in force production. One such tendon, the Achilles tendon, is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body and has been studied sparsely in regard to resting length and vertical jump performance. PURPOSE: To determine the correlation between Achilles tendon length (ATL) and vertical jump output. METHODS: Twenty-one males (19.33±1.39 years, 78.48±10.31 kg, 183.43±7.33 cm) were recruited from UAH men’s track & field and basketball teams. Participants were scheduled a one-time session consisting of anthropometrics, ATL measurement, and vertical jump assessment. The ATL measurement was performed bilaterally by having the participant lay in the prone position on a table with their shoes off and leg flexed. The researcher added resistance to the plantar flexed foot for observation of the tendon. ATL was measured from the calcaneal tuberosity to the insertion on the gastrocnemius. ATL was reported as the mean of the bilateral measurements. Vertical jump height was assessed for standing jump and running countermovement jump using a vertical jump testing device. Participants completed two trials for both jumps, and a third trial was taken if necessary. Pearson’s r was used to calculate correlation and significance was set at p≤0.05. RESULTS: A significant moderate-to-large positive correlation was found between ATL and standing vertical jump (r=0.433, p=0.0497). A non-significant, low correlation was observed for ATL and running vertical jump (r=.284, p=.2126). CONCLUSION: The positive relationship between ATL and vertical jump performance shows a potential tool in predicting jump potential.



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