Plyometric Training: Effectiveness and Optimal Duration for Children With Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the optimal duration and effects of plyometric training on the gross motor abilities of 3 boys with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (9 years 11 months, 10 years, and 8 years 9 months).

Methods:

This was a multiple-baseline, multiple-probe, single-subject experiment. The intervention followed the National Strength and Conditioning Association's guidelines for youth. The Gross Motor Function Measure 66, 10×5-m sprint, 20-m run, throw ball, broad jump, and vertical jump tests were used to evaluate gross motor abilities, agility, running speed, and power.

Results:

Improvements were found in upper extremity power, Gross Motor Function Measure 66 scores, and agility. Findings for lower extremity power and running speed were inconsistent. Training duration ranged from 8 to 14 weeks.

Conclusions:

This study suggests that plyometric training improves gross motor ability, agility, and upper extremity power in boys with unilateral cerebral palsy. Treatment duration should be determined by an individual's capacity, the task, and the outcome measure.

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