Monday, January 7, 2008

Plyometric training for soccer

Training for football (sorry I really struggle to call it "soccer")

There are some interesting football training ideas in this video:

The video is just to get your attention.....but related to some of the drills in that video, here is an interesting study.

Note that
  • Plyometric training improved jumping and sprinting ability - a conclusion that is in itself worth taking on board if you are designing training programmes;
  • There was a difference in the outcome depending on the surface that was used: training on sand improved both jumping and sprinting ability and induced less muscle soreness; training on grass surface was better at enhancing counter movement jump performance; the sand surface showed a greater improvement in the squat jump.
  • However....we do play football on grass not sand, although if the performance improvements are transferable from the sand to the pitch that probably doesn't matter.
Plyometrics do really help as we have noted before on this blog.

Effect of plyometric training on sand versus grass on muscle soreness and jumping and sprinting ability in soccer players

Objective: The lower impact on the musculoskeletal system induced by plyometric exercise on sand compared to a firm surface might be useful to reduce the stress of intensified training periods or during rehabilitation from injury. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of plyometric training on sand versus a grass surface on muscle soreness, vertical jump height and sprinting ability.

Design: Parallel two-group, randomised, longitudinal (pretest–post-test) study.

Methods: After random allocation, 18 soccer players completed 4 weeks of plyometric training on grass (grass group) and 19 players on sand (sand group). Before and after plyometric training, 10 m and 20 m sprint time, squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), and eccentric utilization ratio (CMJ/SJ) were determined. Muscle soreness was measured using a Likert scale.

Results: No training surface x time interactions were found for sprint time (p>0.87), whereas a trend was found for SJ (p = 0.08), with both groups showing similar improvements (p<0.001). On the other hand, the grass group improved their CMJ (p = 0.033) and CMJ/SJ (p = 0.005) significantly (p<0.001) more than players in the sand group. In contrast, players in the sand group experienced less muscle soreness than those in the grass group (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Plyometric training on sand improved both jumping and sprinting ability and induced less muscle soreness. A grass surface seems to be superior in enhancing CMJ performance while the sand surface showed a greater improvement in SJ. Therefore, plyometric training on different surfaces may be associated with different training-induced effects on some neuromuscular factors related to the efficiency of the stretch-shortening cycle.


HomeCalisthenics said...

Those drills in the video look awesome.

About the football on grass. My season consists of playing on rock solid dirt from august til oct, then we get a week or so on "grass" then we play on mud from late oct til end of season.

Only jesting.

Good post.

Dr Craig S. Duncan said...

Good review Chris Plyometrics are essential but just need to be programmed well re sand/grass you are right we play on grass thus lets work on grass. I often question why many peole test on tartan or synthetic and report sprint times for footballers as such but we play on grass so test on grass (not a huge point maybe just something that gets to me)I liked the video



Chris said...

A week on Grass? Luxury!

Craig - thanks for the feedback