Does plyometric training improve strength performance? A meta-analysis
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
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 15studies 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.