Effects of Different Combinations of Strength, Power, and Plyometric Training on the Physical Performance of Elite Young Soccer Players

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Abstract

Kobal, R, Loturco, I, Barroso, R, Gil, S, Cuniyochi, R, Ugrinowitsch, C, Roschel, H, and Tricoli, V. Effects of different combinations of strength, power, and plyometric training on the physical performance of elite young soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 31(6): 1468–1476, 2017—The combination of strength (ST) and plyometric training (PT) has been shown to be effective for improving sport-specific performance. However, there is no consensus about the most effective way to combine these methods in the same training session to produce greater improvements in neuromuscular performance of soccer players. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of different combinations of ST and PT sequences on strength, jump, speed, and agility capacities of elite young soccer players. Twenty-seven soccer players (age: 18.9 ± 0.6 years) participated in an 8-week resistance training program and were divided into 3 groups: complex training (CP) (ST before PT), traditional training (TD) (PT before ST), and contrast training (CT) (ST and PT performed alternately, set by set). The experimental design took place during the competitive period of the season. The ST composed of half-squat exercises performed at 60–80% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM); the PT composed of drop jump exercises executed in a range from 30 to 45 cm. After the experimental period, the maximum dynamic strength (half-squat 1RM) and vertical jump ability (countermovement jump height) increased similarly and significantly in the CP, TD, and CT (48.6, 46.3, and 53% and 13, 14.2, and 14.7%, respectively). Importantly, whereas the TD group presented a significant decrease in sprinting speed in 10 (7%) and 20 m (6%), the other groups did not show this response. Furthermore, no significant alterations were observed in agility performance in any experimental group. In conclusion, in young soccer players, different combinations and sequences of ST and PT sets result in similar performance improvements in muscle strength and jump ability. However, it is suggested that the use of the CP and CT methods is more indicated to maintain/maximize the sprint performance of these athletes.

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