Saez-Saez de Villarreal, E., & Requena, B. (2009). Does plyometric training improve strength performance? A meta-analysis. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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A meta-analysis of 15 studies with a total of 24 effect sizes was conducted to analyze the role of various factors on the effects of plyometric training on strength performance. The inclusion criteria of a study for the analysis were: a) studies using plyometric training programs for lower limb muscles, b) studies employing a true experimental design and valid and reliable measurements; and c) studies including enough data to calculate effect sizes.

When Ss adequately followed plyometric exercises, the training gains were independent of fitness level. Ss in either good or bad physical condition, benefitted equally from plyometric work. Men obtained similar strength results to women following plyometric training. With relation to the variables of performance, training volume for 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 seemed to maximize the probability of obtaining significant improvements in performance. In order to optimize strength enhancement, the combination of different types of plyometrics with resistance-training is recommended, rather than using only one training form. No extra benefits were found to be gained from doing plyometrics with additional weight.

Implication. Plyometric training improves strength in both genders.

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