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Aerobic and Explosive Power Performance of Elite Italian Regional-Level Basketball Players

Castagna, Carlo1,2; Chaouachi, Anis3; Rampinini, Ermanno4; Chamari, Karim3; Impellizzeri, Franco5

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b7f941
Original Research

Castagna, C, Chaouachi, A, Rampinini, E, Chamari, K, and Impellizzeri, F. Aerobic and explosive power performance of elite Italian regional-level basketball players. J Strength Cond Res 23(7): 1982-1987, 2009-The aim of this study was to examine the aerobic fitness and lower-limbs explosive-power abilities of Italian regional-level amateur basketball players. Participants were basketball players playing successfully at a senior (S, n = 11) and junior (J, n = 11) regional level. Players maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) was assessed with them wearing a portable gas analyzer (K4b2, COSMED, Rome, Italy) during an exercise mode-specific multistage fitness test (yo-yo endurance test [Yo-Yo]). Knee extensors and plantar flexors explosive power was assessed with countermovement jump (CMJ) and stiff-leg jumps (SL), respectively. Jumps were performed using a switch mat connected to a computer (Muscle Lab, Bosco System, Rome, Italy). Jumps' fly (FT) and contact times (CT) were used for jump performances calculations. Stiff-Leg FT versus CT ratio (SL/CT) was considered as representative of lower-leg explosive power, whereas SL/CMJ·100 was considered as sign of the explosive-power balance between lower and upper leg muscles. Players' V̇O2max was 60.88 ± 6.26 and 50.33 ± 3.98 mL·kg−1·min−1 for J and S, respectively (p < 0.05). A significant difference was found in SL/CT between S and J players. Yo-Yo performance was not significantly different between groups (2,055 ± 267 and 2,020 ± 174 m for S and J, respectively, p > 0.05). Lower-leg explosive power showed to be positively related to distance covered during Yo-Yo. Study results showed that 50 mL·kg−1·min−1 is a sufficient V̇O2max value for competing at a regional level. Calf explosive power should be considered to improve sport-specific running performance in basketball using plyometrics and whole body lifts.

Author Information

1School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 2Scuola Regionale dello Sport delle Marche, Italian Olympic Commitee (CONI), Ancona, Italy; 3Research Unit ''Evaluation, Sport, Santé,'' National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia; 4Human Performance Laboratory, S.S. MAPEI, Castellanza, Varese, Italy; and 5Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland

Address correspondence to Dr. Carlo Castagna,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association