Plyometric Training: Effectiveness and Optimal Duration for Children With Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

Johnson, Barbara A. PT, PhD, MSPH; Salzberg, Charles PhD; MacWilliams, Bruce A. PhD; Shuckra, Amy L. DPT; D'Astous, Jacques L. MD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000012
Research Article

Purpose: To evaluate the optimal duration and effects of plyometric training on the gross motor abilities of 3 boys with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (9 years 11 months, 10 years, and 8 years 9 months).

Methods: This was a multiple-baseline, multiple-probe, single-subject experiment. The intervention followed the National Strength and Conditioning Association's guidelines for youth. The Gross Motor Function Measure 66, 10×5-m sprint, 20-m run, throw ball, broad jump, and vertical jump tests were used to evaluate gross motor abilities, agility, running speed, and power.

Results: Improvements were found in upper extremity power, Gross Motor Function Measure 66 scores, and agility. Findings for lower extremity power and running speed were inconsistent. Training duration ranged from 8 to 14 weeks.

Conclusions: This study suggests that plyometric training improves gross motor ability, agility, and upper extremity power in boys with unilateral cerebral palsy. Treatment duration should be determined by an individual's capacity, the task, and the outcome measure.

This study of 3 boys with unilateral CP suggests that plyometric training improves gross motor ability, agility, and upper extremity power.

Shriners Hospitals for Children–Salt Lake City (Drs Johnson, MacWilliams, Shuckra, and D'Astous), Salt Lake City, Utah; Department of Orthopedics (Drs MacWilliams and D'Astous), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation (Dr Salzberg), Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

Correspondence: Barbara A. Johnson, PT, PhD, MSPH, Movement Analysis Laboratory, Shriners Hospitals for Children—Salt Lake City, Fairfax Ave at Virginia St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103 (bajohnson@shrinenet.org).

Grant support: This research was carried out with support from a clinical research grant from the Pediatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Barbara Johnson was a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation at the time this article was written.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.