Does plyometric training improve strength performance? A meta-analysis

University Pablo de Olavide, Department of Sports, Laboratory of Human Performance, Sevilla, Spain.
Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia 11/2009; 13(5):513-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2009.08.005
Source: PubMed


Majority of the research suggests plyometric training (PT) improves maximal strength performance as measured by 1RM, isometric MVC or slow velocity isokinetic testing. However, the effectiveness of PT depends upon various factors. A meta-analysis of 15 studies with a total of 31 effect sizes (ES) was carried out to analyse the role of various factors on the effects of PT on strength performance. The inclusion criteria for the analysis were: (a) studies using PT programs for lower limb muscles; (b) studies employing true experimental design and valid and reliable measurements; (c) studies including sufficient data to calculate ES. When subjects can adequately follow plyometric exercises, the training gains are independent of fitness level. Subjects in either good or poor physical condition, benefit equally from plyometric work, also men obtain similar strength results to women following PT. In relation to the variables of program design, training volume of less than 10 weeks and with more than 15 sessions, as well as the implementation of high-intensity programs, with more than 40 jumps per session, were the strategies that seem to maximize the probability to obtain significantly greater improvements in performance (p<0.05). In order to optimise strength enhancement, the combination of different types of plyometrics with weight-training would be recommended, rather than utilizing only one form (p<0.05). The responses identified in this analysis are essential and should be considered by the strength and conditioning professional with regard to the most appropriate dose-response trends for PT to optimise strength gains.

Download full-text


Available from: Robert Usher Newton, Apr 03, 2014
  • Source
    • "In this regard, mean improvements in vertical jump performance were reported ranging between 5% for squat jumps and depth jumps and roughly 8% for countermovement type jumps [25]. In addition, de Villarreal and coworkers [26,27] showed that, although PT improvements in jump performance are observed independent of the physical condition of the subjects tested, experienced athletes obtained greater enhancements in the vertical jumps. However, among the various possibilities to perform PT, the surface stability (the resistance to disturbance of equilibrium) has been rarely evaluated. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background In the past, plyometric training (PT) has been predominantly performed on stable surfaces. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine effects of a 7-week lower body PT on stable vs. unstable surfaces. This type of exercise condition may be denoted as metastable equilibrium. Methods Thirty-three physically active male sport science students (age: 24.1 ± 3.8 years) were randomly assigned to a PT group (n = 13) exercising on stable (STAB) and a PT group (n = 20) on unstable surfaces (INST). Both groups trained countermovement jumps, drop jumps, and practiced a hurdle jump course. In addition, high bar squats were performed. Physical fitness tests on stable surfaces (hexagonal obstacle test, countermovement jump, hurdle drop jump, left-right hop, dynamic and static balance tests, and leg extension strength) were used to examine the training effects. Results Significant main effects of time (ANOVA) were found for the countermovement jump, hurdle drop jump, hexagonal test, dynamic balance, and leg extension strength. A significant interaction of time and training mode was detected for the countermovement jump in favor of the INST group. No significant improvements were evident for either group in the left-right hop and in the static balance test. Conclusions These results show that lower body PT on unstable surfaces is a safe and efficient way to improve physical performance on stable surfaces.
    07/2014; 6(1):30. DOI:10.1186/2052-1847-6-30
  • Source
    • "The subject then caught the barbell on its descent (eccentric movement) and instantaneously, without rest performed another maximal bench throw (concentric movement) (Alemany et al., 2005). Participants completed this plyometric sequence for 3 reps, with the aim of activating the stretch-shortening cycle (Alemany et al., 2005; Villarreal et al., 2010). Although it is well known that free weights are following an S or reverse C patterns path which may also activate secondary muscles and develop the ability to react under unstable conditions producing more force and power, we decided to use a Smith machine because it is commonly used when assessing bench press power performance, since the vertical lifting bar slides along a track, allowing the participant to lift heavy weights without any assistance, increasing at the same time the safety conditions (Schick et al., 2010; Vingren et al., 2011) "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effect of upper body complex training on power output, as well as to determine the requisite preload intensity and intra-complex recovery interval needed to induce power output increases. Nine amateur-level combat/martial art athletes completed four distinct experimental protocols, which consisted of 5 bench press repetitions at either: 65% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) with a 4 min rest interval; 65% of 1RM with an 8 min rest; 85% of 1RM with a 4 min rest; or 85% of 1RM with an 8 min rest interval, performed on different days. Before (pre-conditioning) and after (post-conditioning) each experimental protocol, three bench press throws at 30% of 1RM were performed. Significant differences in power output pre-post conditioning were observed across all experimental protocols (F=26.489, partial eta2=0.768, p=0.001). Mean power output significantly increased when the preload stimulus of 65% 1RM was matched with 4 min of rest (p=0.001), and when the 85% 1RM preload stimulus was matched with 8 min of rest (p=0.001). Moreover, a statistically significant difference in power output was observed between the four conditioning protocols (F= 21.101, partial eta(2)=0.913, p=0.001). It was concluded that, in complex training, matching a heavy preload stimulus with a longer rest interval, and a lighter preload stimulus with a shorter rest interval is important for athletes wishing to increase their power production before training or competition.
    Journal of Human Kinetics 12/2013; 39(1):167-75. DOI:10.2478/hukin-2013-0079 · 1.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "A suggestion has been made previously that subjects in either good or poor physical condition, benefit equally from plyometric work (Sáez-Sáez de Villarreal et al., 2010). Also training volume of less than 10 weeks and with more than 15 sessions, as well as the inclusion of high-intensity programs, with more than 40 jumps per session, were the strategies that seem to maximize the probability to obtain significantly greater improvements in leg muscle strength (Sáez-Sáez de Villarreal et al., 2010). Knee extensor strength improvement in our subjects suggests increased motor unit synchronization. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a short-term in-season plyometric training program on power, agility and knee extensor strength. Male soccer players from a third league team were assigned into an experimental and a control group. The experimental group, beside its regular soccer training sessions, performed a periodized plyometric training program for six weeks. The program included two training sessions per week, and maximal intensity unilateral and bilateral plyometric exercises (total of 40 - 100 foot contacts/session) were executed. Controls participated only in the same soccer training routine, and did not perform plyometrics. Depth vertical jump height, agility (Illinois Agility Test, T Agility Test) and maximal voluntary isometric torque in knee extensors using Multicont II dynamometer were evaluated before and after the experiment. In the experimental group small but significant improvements were found in both agility tests, while depth jump height and isometric torque increments were greater. The control group did not improve in any of the measures. Results of the study indicate that plyometric training consisting of high impact unilateral and bilateral exercises induced remarkable improvements in lower extremity power and maximal knee extensor strength, and smaller improvements in soccer-specific agility. Therefore, it is concluded that short-term plyometric training should be incorporated in the in-season preparation of lower level players to improve specific performance in soccer.
    Journal of Human Kinetics 03/2013; 36(1):17-26. DOI:10.2478/hukin-2013-0002 · 1.03 Impact Factor
Show more