K. Bryson, C. Peach, W. Wigen, S. Cool, W.M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

Grunting effects on muscle force output (MFO) has been examined for sports, such as tennis, mixed martial arts (MMA), and powerlifting. Grunting may increase vertical jump (VJ) height, which is a standard measurement of MFO for the lower extremities. Grunting during a VJ may benefit the overall performance of recreational basketball players. PURPOSE: The purpose of this research study was to investigate the effects of grunting on VJ height in recreational basketball players. METHODS: Twenty-eight healthy male and female collegiate recreational basketball players, aged 18-25 yr (nm = 22, nf = 6; height: 177.46 ± 3.31 cm, weight: 74.77 ± 12.17 kg, age: 20.85 ± 0.65 yr), participated in the research study. Participants performed two countermovement jump (CMJ) trials, with and without grunting, to measure VJ height. The highest jump was recorded for analysis. Participants warmed up with a dynamic warm-up protocol prior to each trial and rested for 10 min between trials. A dependent groups t-test (significance level p ≤ 0.05) was utilized to determine the existence of significant differences between experimental conditions for all dependent variables. RESULTS: No statistical differences were observed between grunting and non-grunting conditions (55.93 ± 14.36 cm v. 55.65 ± 14.34 cm; p = 0.48) for VJ height. Therefore, the research hypothesis that grunting would positively impact VJ was rejected. CONCLUSION: Under these research conditions, grunting did not improve VJ height performance. The primary explanations for the observed results were the inability to distinguish between grunting and non-grunting breathing techniques and the small sample size utilized in the study. No learning effect was evident because the a follow up dependent groups t-test revealed no statistically significant difference between the first and second trial (p = 0.48). Participants should have been grouped by athletic performance because recreational status may have been too broad of a population, as skill level and experience appeared to vary. Future researchers should investigate the effects of grunting with a larger sample size, alternative breathing technique, and standardization of ability between participants.

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