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Effects of Plyometric and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength, Explosiveness, and Neuromuscular Function in Young Adolescent Soccer Players

McKinlay, Brandon J.1; Wallace, Phillip2; Dotan, Raffy1; Long, Devon1; Tokuno, Craig3; Gabriel, David A.3; Falk, Bareket4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 11 - p 3039–3050
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002428
Original Research

McKinlay, BJ, Wallace, P, Dotan, R, Long, D, Tokuno, C, Gabriel, D, and Falk, B. Effects of plyometric and resistance training on muscle strength, explosiveness, and neuromuscular function in young adolescent soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 32(11): 3039–3050, 2018—This study examined the effect of 8 weeks of free-weight resistance training (RT) and plyometric (PLYO) training on maximal strength, explosiveness, and jump performance compared with no added training (CON), in young male soccer players. Forty-one 11- to 13-year-old soccer players were divided into 3 groups (RT, PLYO, and CON). All participants completed isometric and dynamic (240°·s−1) knee extensions before and after training. Peak torque (pT), peak rate of torque development (pRTD), electromechanical delay (EMD), rate of muscle activation (Q50), m. vastus lateralis thickness (VLT), and jump performance were examined. Peak torque, pRTD, and jump performance significantly improved in both training groups. Training resulted in significant (p ≤ 0.05) increases in isometric pT (23.4 vs. 15.8%) and pRTD (15.0 vs. 17.6%), in RT and PLYO, respectively. During dynamic contractions, training resulted in significant increases in pT (12.4 and 10.8% in RT and PLYO, respectively), but not in pRTD. Jump performance increased in both training groups (RT = 10.0% and PLYO = 16.2%), with only PLYO significantly different from CON. Training resulted in significant increases in VLT (RT = 6.7% and PLYO = 8.1%). There were no significant EMD changes. In conclusion, 8-week free-weight resistance and plyometric training resulted in significant improvements in muscle strength and jump performance. Training resulted in similar muscle hypertrophy in the 2 training modes, with no clear differences in muscle performance. Plyometric training was more effective in improving jump performance, whereas free-weight RT was more advantageous in improving peak torque, where the stretch reflex was not involved.

1Applied Physiology Laboratory, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario Canada;

2Environmental Ergonomics Laboratory, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario Canada; and

3Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario Canada; and

4Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Center for Bone and Muscle Health, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario Canada

Address correspondence to Bareket Falk, bfalk@brocku.ca.

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.