Weighted vest (WV) use during vertical jump landings (VJL) does not appear to alter peak vertical ground reaction forces (GRF) or peak joint torques. However, WV effects on joint work and sex differences during VJL are not well understood. This study assessed WV effects on vertical GRF and sagittal joint work during VJL in men and women. Twelve men and 12 women performed VJL wearing a WV with zero added mass (unloaded) and with 10% body mass (loaded) while GRF and kinematic data were obtained. Mixed-model analyses of variance (α = 0.05) and effect sizes (ES) were used to assess differences between sexes and/or load conditions. Regardless of sex, greater landing height (p < 0.001; ES = 0.37) and peak vertical GRF (p = 0.001; ES 0.51) occurred when unloaded, while greater landing time (p = 0.001; ES = 0.46) and negative lower extremity work (p < 0.001; ES = 0.41) occurred when loaded through greater negative work about the hip (p = 0.001; ES = 0.27) and ankle (p = 0.020; ES = 0.27). No differences in hip (p = 0.753; ES = 0.03), knee (p = 0.588; ES = 0.07), or ankle (p = 0.580; ES = 0.09) joint displacement were detected between loaded and unloaded conditions. Men exhibited greater landing heights (p < 0.001; ES = 2.49) and greater peak vertical GRF than women (p = 0.007; ES = 1.18), though women exhibited greater negative lower extremity work (p < 0.001; ES = 1.98) than men through greater negative knee (p < 0.001; ES = 1.98) and ankle (p = 0.032; ES = 0.94) work. No sex differences were detected for joint angular displacement about the hip (p = 0.475; ES = 0.30), knee (p = 0.666; ES = 0.18), or ankle (p = 0.084; ES = 0.71). These data revealed a unique load accommodation strategy during VJL with a WV characterized by greater lower extremity joint work performed via increased joint torque despite lesser landing height and peak vertical GRF. Women appear to perform greater lower extremity joint work than men during VJL despite lesser landing height and peak vertical GRF. Current and prospective WV users should be aware of their load accommodation strategy during VJL with an external load. Women may consider developing more refined load accommodation strategies for VJL regardless of whether external loading is applied to avoid performing excessive amounts of lower extremity work.
- Added mass
- Ground reaction forces