Vertical Jump Biomechanics after Plyometric, Weight Lifting, and Combined (Weight Lifting + Plyometric) Training

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Arabatzi, F, Kellis, E, and Saèz-Saez de Villarreal, E. Vertical jump biomechanics after plyometric, weight lifting, and combined (weight lifting + plyometric) training. J Strength Cond Res 24(9): 2440-2448, 2010-The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of an Olympic weight lifting (OL), a plyometric (PL), and combined weight lifting + plyometric (WP) training program on vertical jump (VJ) biomechanics. Thirty-six men were assigned randomly to 4 groups: PL group (n = 9), OL group (n = 9), WP group (10), and control (C) group (n = 8). The experimental groups trained 3 d·wk−1, for 8 weeks. Sagital kinematics, VJ height, power, and electromyographic (EMG) activity from rectus femoris (RF) and medial gastrocnemius (GAS) were collected during squat jumping and countermovement jumping (CMJ) before and after training. The results showed that all experimental groups improved VJ height (p < 0.05). The OL training improved power and muscle activation during the concentric phase of the CMJ while the subjects used a technique with wider hip and knee angles after training (p < 0.05). The PL group subjects did not change their CMJ technique although there was an increase in RF activation and a decrease of GAS activity after training (p < 0.05). The WP group displayed a decline in maximal hip angle and a lower activation during the CMJ after training (p < 0.05). These results indicate that all training programs are adequate for improving VJ performance. However, the mechanisms for these improvements differ between the 3 training protocols. Olympic weight lifting training might be more appropriate to achieve changes in VJ performance and power in the precompetition period of the training season. Emphasis on the PL exercises should be given when the competition period approaches, whereas the combination of OL and PL exercises may be used in the transition phases from precompetition to the competition period.

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