Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Plyometrics help the vertical jump

I like jumps. They are a simple and explosive movement and we have already discussed here how explosive movements are great for developing power and for burning fat through ramping up the metabolism. They are also pretty functional, although I am wondering whether single leg jumps are more useful for everyday life.

Anyway, plyometrics are often used to increase performance in the jump - moves in which there is a dynamic prestretch of the muscles involved. There are some examples here

And they work. This study demonstrated that plyometric training helped vertical jump performance.

This is how you do it:

Does plyometric training improve vertical jump height? A meta-analytical review.

The aim of this study was to determine the precise effect of plyometric training (PT) on vertical jump height in healthy individuals. Meta-analyses of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials that evaluated the effect of PT on four typical vertical jump height tests were carried out: squat jump (SJ); countermovement jump (CMJ); countermovement jump with the arm swing (CMJA); and drop jump (DJ). Studies were identified by computerised and manual searches of the literature. Data on changes in jump height for the plyometric and control groups were extracted and statistically pooled in a meta-analysis, separately for each type of jump. A total of 26 studies yielding 13 data points for SJ, 19 data points for CMJ, 14 data points for CMJA and 7 data points for DJ met the initial inclusion criteria. The pooled estimate of the effect of PT on vertical jump height was 4.7% (95% CI 1.8 to 7.6%), 8.7% (95% CI 7.0 to 10.4%), 7.5% (95% CI 4.2 to 10.8%) and 4.7% (95% CI 0.8 to 8.6%) for the SJ, CMJ, CMJA and DJ, respectively. When expressed in standardised units (ie, effect sizes), the effect of PT on vertical jump height was 0.44 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.72), 0.88 (95% CI 0.64 to 1.11), 0.74 (95% CI 0.47 to 1.02) and 0.62 (95% CI 0.18 to 1.05) for the SJ, CMJ, CMJA and DJ, respectively. PT provides a statistically significant and practically relevant improvement in vertical jump height with the mean effect ranging from 4.7% (SJ and DJ), over 7.5% (CMJA) to 8.7% (CMJ). These results justify the application of PT for the purpose of development of vertical jump performance in healthy individuals.

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