Sunday, July 13, 2008

Plyometrics and balance

I've previously had things on here about both plyometrics and balance. This study brings them together and indicates that previous plyometric exercise might have a detrimental effect on your balance and potentially limit your skill in some moves.

Interesting from a programme design and warm up perspective - i.e. don't have you athletes doing loads of depth jumps or bounding prior to an event that will require balance and skill......

The effects of plyometric exercise on unilateral balance performance

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of plyometric exercise on unilateral balance performance. Nine healthy adults performed baseline measurements on the dominant limb that consisted of: a 20-s unilateral stability test on a tilt balance board, where a higher stability index represented deterioration in balance performance; isokinetic plantar flexion torque at 0.52 and 3.14 rad . s(-1); muscle soreness in the calf region; and resting plantar flexion angle. Plyometric exercise consisted of 200 counter-movement jumps designed to elicit symptoms of muscle damage, after which baseline measurements were repeated at 30 min, 24, 48, and 72 h. Perceived muscle soreness of the calf region increased significantly following the plyometric exercise protocol (F(4,32) = 17.24, P <> 0.05). The stability index was significantly increased (F(4,32) = 3.10, P < 0.05) above baseline (mean 2.3, s = 0.3) at 24 h (3.3, s = 0.4), after which values recovered. These results indicate that there is a latent impairment of balance performance following a bout of plyometric exercise, which has implications for both the use of skill-based activities and for increased injury risk following high-intensity plyometric training.

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