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Comparison of Integrated and Isolated Training on Performance Measures and Neuromuscular Control

DiStefano, Lindsay J.1; DiStefano, Michael J.2; Frank, Barnett S.3; Clark, Micheal A.4; Padua, Darin A.3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 1083–1090
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318280d40b
Original Research

DiStefano, LJ, DiStefano, MJ, Frank, BS, Clark, MA, and Padua, DA. Comparison of integrated and isolated training on performance measures and neuromuscular control. J Strength Cond Res 27(4): 1083–1090, 2013—Traditional weight training programs use an exercise prescription strategy that emphasizes improving muscle strength through resistance exercises. Other factors, such as stability, endurance, movement quality, power, flexibility, speed, and agility are also essential elements to improving overall functional performance. Therefore, exercises that incorporate these additional elements may be beneficial additions to traditional resistance training programs. The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of an isolated resistance training program (ISO) and an integrated training program (INT) on movement quality, vertical jump height, agility, muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility. The ISO program consisted of primarily upper and lower extremity progressive resistance exercises. The INT program involved progressive resistance exercises, and core stability, power, and agility exercises. Thirty subjects were cluster randomized to either the ISO (n = 15) or INT (n = 15) training program. Each training group performed their respective programs 2 times per week for 8 weeks. The subjects were assessed before (pretest) and after (posttest) the intervention period using the following assessments: a jump-landing task graded using the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS), vertical jump height, T-test time, push-up and sit-up performance, and the sit-and-reach test. The INT group performed better on the LESS test (pretest: 3.90 ± 1.02, posttest: 3.03 ± 1.02; p = 0.02), faster on the T-test (pretest: 10.35 ± 1.20 seconds, posttest: 9.58 ± 1.02 seconds; p = 0.01), and completed more sit-ups (pretest: 40.20 ± 15.01, posttest: 46.73 ± 14.03; p = 0.045) and push-ups (pretest: 40.67 ± 13.85, posttest: 48.93 ± 15.17; p = 0.05) at posttest compared with pretest, and compared with the ISO group at posttest. Both groups performed more push-ups (p = 0.002), jumped higher (p < 0.001), and reached further (p = 0.008) at posttest compared with that at pretest. Performance enhancement programs should use an integrated approach to exercise selection to optimize performance and movement technique benefits.

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

2Select Physical Therapy, Storrs, Connecticut

3Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

4National Academy of Sports Medicine, Chandler, Arizona

Address correspondence to Dr. Lindsay J. DiStefano,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.