Adaptations of the Upper Body to Plyometric Training in Cricket Players of Different Age Groups

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Neuromuscular adaptations following exercise training are believed to enhance sports performance. While abundant research is available on adaptations of the lower body to plyometric training, little is known about adaptations of the upper body to plyometric training. Objective: To examine the effect of plyometric training on neuromuscular adaptations in cricket players of different age groups. Design: Randomized parallel group active-controlled trial. Setting: Research laboratory, school cricket ground, and sports complex field. Participants: Fifty-nine cricket players were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. Interventions: The experimental group was subjected to 8 weeks of medicine ball plyometric training held thrice per week. Neuromuscular adaptations were analyzed pretraining and posttraining in 3 age groups: <18, 18–25, and >25 years. Analysis of variance was used to ascertain the training effects between and within the 6 subgroups, that is, age group <18 years (control and experimental), age group 18–25 years (control and experimental), and age group >25 years (control and experimental). Main outcome measures: Muscle activation, upper body balance, upper body power, and muscle strength. Results: Out of 59, 55 participants completed the study. Subjects aged <18 years (adolescents) showed significantly greater improvements than those from the groups 18–25 years and >25 years (adults) on upper body balance and upper body power. Significant improvements were observed in the experimental subjects of all age groups on their muscle activity of biceps brachii, upper body balance, and upper body power following medicine ball plyometric training. Conclusions: Though adolescent subjects were found to be more adaptive than adult subjects, experimental subjects showed significantly greater neuromuscular adaptations to medicine ball plyometric training than controls. These findings emphasize the need for coaches and athletic trainers to inculcate medicine ball plyometric exercises in training regimes of cricket players so as to improve their upper body performance.

Singla is with the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi. Hussain is with the Centre for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.

Singla (dpkasingla@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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