Explosive leg power is a key ingredient to maximizing vertical jump performance. In training, the athlete must use the most effective program to optimize leg power development. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three training programs - squat (S), plyometric (P) and squat-plyometric (SP) - in increasing hip and thigh power production as measured by vertical jump. Forty-eight subjects were divided equally into four groups: S, P, SP or control (C). The subjects trained two days a week for a total of seven weeks, which consisted of a one-week technique learning period followed by a six- week periodized S, P or SP training program. Hip and thigh power were tested before and after training using the vertical jump test, and the alpha level was set at 0.05. Statistical analysis of the data revealed a significant increase in hip and thigh power production, as measured by vertical jump, within all three treatment groups. The SP group achieved a statistically greater improvement (p < 0.0001) than the S or P groups alone. Examination of the mean scores shows that the S group increased 3.30 centimeters in vertical jump, the P group increased 3.81 centimeters and the SP group increased 10.67 centimeters. The results indicate that both S and P training are necessary for improving hip and thigh power production as measured by vertical jumping ability.
(C) 1992 National Strength and Conditioning Association