The study investigated differences in skeletal muscle function between obese and non-obese children using a force platform. Forty obese children and adolescents (age range 8 to 18 years; 21 girls) and 40 age- and sex-matched controls performed two tests: (1) single two-legged jump, a countermovement jump for maximal height; (2) multiple one-legged hopping on the forefoot, a test of maximal force. In the single two-legged jump, obese subjects had higher absolute peak force (1.62 kN vs 1.09 kN) and peak power (2.46 kW vs 2.06 kW), but lower body weight-related peak force (2.10 vs 2.33) and lower peak power per body mass (30.9 W/kg vs 41.6 W/kg). Jump height (29.3 cm vs 37.5 cm) and maximal vertical velocity (1.92 ms(-1) vs 2.31 ms(-1)) were reduced in obese children. In multiple one-legged hopping, obese subjects had 72% and 84% higher absolute peak force on the left and right foot, respectively. However, forces relative to body weight were 24% and 23% lower in the obese group than in the control group. In conclusion, obese children and adolescents have increased muscle force and power. This partly compensates for the effect of high body weight on muscle performance.