Effects of Plyometric and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Neuromuscular Function in Young Adolescent Soccer Players
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This study examined the effect of 8-weeks of resistance (RT) and plyometric (PLYO) training on maximal strength, power and jump performance compared with no added training (CON), in young male soccer players. Forty-one 11-13 year-old soccer players were divided into three groups (RT, PLYO, CON). All participants completed 5 isometric knee extensions at 90° and 5 isokinetic knee extensions at 240°/s pre- and post-training. Peak torque (PT), peak rate of torque development (pRTD), electromechanical-day (EMD), rate of muscle activation (Q30), muscle cross-sectional area (mCSA) and jump performance were examined. Both RT and PLYO resulted in significant (p < 0.05) increases in PT, pRTD and jump performance. RT resulted in significantly greater increases in both isometric and isokinetic PT, while PLYO resulted in significantly greater increases in isometric pRTD and jump performance compared with CON (p < 0.05). Q30 increased to a greater extent in PLYO (20%) compared with RT (5%) and CON (-5%) (p = 0.1). In conclusion, 8-weeks of RT and PLYO resulted in significant improvements in muscle strength and jump performance. RT appears to be more effective at eliciting increases in maximal strength while PLYO appears to enhance explosive strength, mediated by possible increases in the rate of muscle activation.