Twice-weekly, in-school jumping improves lean mass, particularly in adolescent boys


Address for correspondence: BK Weeks, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Griffith University, Qld 4222, Australia. E-mail:



To determine the effect of a twice-weekly, school-based, 10-min jumping regime on muscle and fat tissue in healthy adolescent boys and girls.


We replaced regular warm-up activities with jumping in physical education (PE) classes of early high school students for 8 months to observe the effect on muscle and fat tissue. A total of 99 adolescents (46 boys, 53 girls; 13.8 ± 0.4 years) volunteered to participate. Intervention group subjects performed 10 min of varied jumping activity, while control subjects performed a regular PE warm-up. Biometrics, Tanner staging, age of peak height velocity (PHV), vertical jump, whole body lean tissue and fat mass (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived) were measured at baseline and follow-up. Physical activity was determined by questionnaire.


There were no differences in any measured variable between control and intervention groups at baseline. Boys had a significantly older age of PHV than girls (p = 0.02). No group differences were detected for 8-month change in height, weight or maturity measures for the combined sample; however, at 8 months, jumpers had accrued greater lean tissue mass than controls (p = 0.002). Sex-specific analysis revealed that intervention group boys had gained more lean tissue mass than controls (p = 0.016) and experienced significant fat loss (p = 0.010) than controls, an effect that was not observed in the girls.


Regular, short-duration, jumping activity during adolescence increased lean tissue mass and boys additionally lost fat mass. Sex-specific and/or maturation-specific factors may explain the disparity in effect.