Changes in Strength and Power Performance in Elite Senior Female Professional Volleyball Players During the In-Season: A Case Study

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Marques, MC, van den Tillaar, R, Vescovi, JD, and González-Badillo, JJ. Changes in strength and power performance in elite senior female professional volleyball players during the in-season: a case study. J Strength Cond Res 22: 1147-1155, 2008-It is often recommended that in-season training programs aim to maintain muscular strength and power developed during the off-season. However, improvements in performance may be possible with a well-designed training regimen. The purpose of this case report is to describe the changes in physical performance after an in-season training regimen in professional female volleyball players in order to determine whether muscular strength and power might be improved. Apart from normal practice sessions, 10 elite female volleyball players completed 2 training sessions per week, which included both resistance training and plyometric exercises. Over the 12-week season, the athletes performed 3-4 sets of 3-8 repetitions for resistance and plyometric exercises during each training session. All sessions were supervised by one of the investigators as well as by the team head coach. Muscular strength and power were assessed before and after the 12-week training program using 4 repetition maximum bench press and parallel squat tests, an overhead medicine ball throw (BTd), as well as unloaded and loaded countermovement jumps (CMJs). Strength improved by 15% and 11.5% in the bench press and parallel squat, respectively (p < 0.0001). Distance in the BTd improved by 11.8% (p < 0.0001), whereas unloaded and loaded CMJ height increased between 3.8 and 11.2%. The current findings suggest that elite female volleyball players can improve strength and power during the competition season by implementing a well-designed training program that includes both resistance and plyometric exercises.

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