This study was done to determine which plyometric training technique is best for improving vertical jumping ability, positive energy production, and elastic energy utilization. Data were collected before and after 12 weeks of jump training and were analyzed by ANOVA. Subjects (N = 28) performed jumps under 3 testing conditions-squat jump, countermovement jump, and depth jump-and were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: control, depth jump training, or countermovement jump training. The 12-week program resulted in significant increases in vertical jump height for both training groups. The depth jump group significantly improved their vertical jump height in all 3 jumps. None of the training methods improved utilization of elastic energy. In activities involving dynamic stretch-shorten cycles, drop jump training was superior to countermovement jump training due to neuromuscular specificity. This study provides support for the strength and conditioning professional to include plyometric depth jump training as part of the athlete's overall program for improving vertical jumping ability and concentric contractile performance.
(C) 1998 National Strength and Conditioning Association