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Sequencing Effects of Neuromuscular Training on Physical Fitness in Youth Elite Tennis Players

Fernandez-Fernandez, Jaime1; Granacher, Urs2; Sanz-Rivas, David3; Sarabia Marín, Jose Manuel4; Hernandez-Davo, Jose Luis4; Moya, Manuel4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 849–856
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002319
Original Research
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Fernandez-Fernandez, J, Granacher, U, Sanz-Rivas, D, Sarabia Marín, JM, Hernandez-Davo, JL, and Moya, M. Sequencing effects of neuromuscular training on physical fitness in youth elite tennis players. J Strength Cond Res 32(3): 849–856, 2018—The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of a 5-week neuromuscular training (NMT) implemented before or after a tennis session in prepubertal players on selected components of physical fitness. Sixteen high-level tennis players with a mean age of 12.9 ± 0.4 years participated in this study, and were assigned to either a training group performing NMT before tennis-specific training (BT; n = 8) or a group that conducted NMT after tennis-specific training (AT; n = 8). Pretest and posttest included: speed (5, 10, and 20 m); modified 5-0-5 agility test; countermovement jump (CMJ); overhead medicine ball throw (MBT); and serve velocity (SV). Results showed that the BT group achieved positive effects from pretest to posttest measures in speed (d = 0.52, 0.32, and 1.08 for 5, 10, and 20 m respectively), 5-0-5 (d = 0.22), CMJ (d = 0.29), MBT (d = 0.51), and SV (d = 0.32), whereas trivial (10 m, 20 m, CMJ, SV, and MBT) or negative effects (d = −0.19 and −0.24 for 5 m and 5-0-5, respectively) were reported for the AT group. The inclusion of an NMT session before the regular tennis training led to positive effects from pretest to posttest measures in performance-related variables (i.e., jump, sprint, change of direction capacity, as well as upper-body power), whereas conducting the same exercise sessions after the regular tennis training was not accompanied by the same improvements.

1Department of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, University of León, León, Spain;

2Division of Training and Movement Sciences, Research Focus Cognition Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany;

3Spanish Tennis Federation, Madrid, Spain; and

4Sports Research Center, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Spain

Address correspondence to Dr. Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, jaime.fernandez@unileon.es.

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.