Med Ball Power
Rotational power is universal for most sports, therefore we test power in the same way each time. The first test we use to screen for power is the med ball sit up & throw. The athlete starts in a supine position with knees at 90 degrees and feet glued to the floor. Then sitting up while keeping the low body on the ground, the athlete launches the MB during the initial part of the sit up. This tells us how well an athlete can connect their lower body to upper body by anchoring their low body to the ground and flexing only the upper body using the core. A standard throw for men would be 22 feet and 20 feet for women. Next, the MB chest pass focuses just on upper body power production. The athlete sits on a high box with knees at about 90 degrees with arms fully extended and MB in hands. Then, the athlete rocks back and loads the MB into the chest before launching the MB straight out in front of them. This test takes the lower body and most of the core out of the equation and relies solely on the upper body to produce power. A standard throw for men would be 22 feet and 20 feet for women, the same as the sit up & throw.
The last MB test includes the rotational chest pass. Here the athlete starts sideways and loads into the back hip. Then, the internal rotation of the back hip initiates the rotation of the hips, followed by the shoulder, and finishing with the implement or in this case the MB. This test looks for connection between the lower and upper body through rotation. A standard throw for men would be 33 feet and 30 feet for women. Once we have the numbers for each of these tests we can plug in and compare to set standards and also compare one side to the other in terms of the rotational chest pass test. This can give us good insight as to where the athlete may be lacking or what will need attention. For example, if the athlete meets the standards for the seated chest pass but not the sit up & throw, that may mean they have trouble connecting their lower body to their upper body because the power is there when isolating the upper body but not when requiring a connection between lower and upper body. This comparison also gives insight to how well one side of the body can produce power compared to the other.
Vertical Jump Testing
Squat jump testing uses 4 simple tests to show exactly how you express power with your whole body, just your legs, from a standstill, and how you recycle energy. These metrics give us a ton of insights into how your body creates vertical power and where we may be able to help give you an edge. The first countermovement jump, the athlete is using their upper and lower body to produce power. The athlete starts in a standing position and executes a full countermovement jump with arm swing, getting out of the loaded position as fast as possible. The athlete jumps as high as they can for two jumps and the highest jump is recorded.
The second test is the countermovement jump with no arms. This test is the same as the first test minus the arm swing. The athlete places their hands on their hips and executes a countermovement jump with no arms. This tests the athletes ability to produce force only from their lower body without the momentum from the arm swing. The third test is the squat jump, the athlete places their hands on their hips and squats down for a 3 count before exploding out of the loaded position. This tests the athletes ability to only produce force from their lower body from a static position. The final jump test is the RSI test using the push band, which is a series of 10 quick and snappy jumps. The athlete places their hands on their hips and executes one countermovement jump and then finishes with 10 jumps with minimal ground contact time between reps. The goal of these 10 jumps is to jump as high as possible while staying quick and snappy off the ground.
Club Head Speed
Want to improve your golf swing speed? If you want to get faster, you need to know how fast you are before you can focus on how fast you want to be. There are 3 club head metrics that we track at THP to increase swing speed. We track club head speed, ball speed, and smash factor.
Screen for Power- Vertical
Testing for vertical power is critical because it is used in a lot of sports and life activities. For all of our clients at THP we want to know how well you produce force into the ground, how well you push into the ground, if you are meeting the standards required by your sport or lifestyle, and are you progressing over time. At THP we use 4 separate tests to test vertical power. These tests are further explained in the vertical jump testing section above. For example, the countermovement jump test with arms which tells us how well you can produce force from the lower body and transfer it to the upper body. This is seen in sports such as blocking in volleyball or going up for a rebound in basketball. It is also translated for rotational sports such as golf where you may be moving your low body at higher speed than upper body due to poor translation between the two. This test is followed for the countermovement jump test without arms, the squat jump, and RSI test.
For these tests we use a push band and just jump mat. The just jump mat measures how long the athlete is off the mat during their jump, while the push band gives more in depth measurements like power, speed, and velocity.. Before beginning the tests we ask the athlete to execute a countermovement jump with arms at 70% intensity to ensure they can complete the tests pain free. Then, for each test the athlete gets 2 jumps, if they beat their first jump on the second, they’ve earned a 3rd attempt to try to beat their height. From the countermovement jump with arms to without arms we are looking for a 10-20% difference with 15% being optimal between the two jumps. If these jumps are very close then we know more strength is needed or more connection is needed between lower and upper body. Conversely, if the athlete has too much of a difference between the jumps, outside the 10-20% range, that tells us they need to strengthen their lower body because they are using their upper body too much. For the RSI test we only use the push bands and test how snappy the athlete is. A score above 1.0 is good and a score below that means the athlete is less snappy and needs to strengthen their tendons and ligaments as well as getting into the correct rhythm. At THP we do vertical jump testing about every 6 weeks to see how well the athlete is performing and see if we need to change anything in their program.
At THP we like to use data visualization to help clients connect the dots as to why they’re doing what they’re doing. When testing power we test vertically, our jump tests, and med ball power to test rotational and trunk stability. After a new client completes our assessments, all of that data is stored and presented to the client. This reporting should be a reiteration of what was seen in the tests themselves. This provides the client with a visual representation of the data we collected during the tests that may not have connected with them during the test. The data is compared to average scores for each test which tell us where this particular client may be lacking. This allows us to find weaknesses in the clients movements and translate that to them in a way that makes sense to them. Then these weaknesses are addressed in the clients personalized program.