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Helmi Chaabene, Yassine Negra, Jason Moran, Olaf Prieske, Senda Sammoud, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo and Urs Granacher

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of an 8-week Nordic-hamstring exercise (NHE) training on components of physical performance in young female handball players.

Methods:

Participants were allocated to an experimental (EG; n=10; age: 15.9 ± 0.2 years) and a control group (CG; n=9; age: 15.9 ± 0.3 years). The EG performed NHE (2-3 sessions/week) in replacement of some handball-specific drills whereas the CG followed regular handball training. Pre- and post-training, tests were carried-out for the assessment of sprint speed (5 m, 10 m, 20 m), jump performance (countermovement jump [CMJ] height), change-of-direction (CoD [T-test]), and repeated-sprint-ability (RSA total-time [RSAtotal], RSA best-time [RSAbest], RSA fatigue-index [RSAFI]). Data were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences.

Results:

Within-group analyses for the EG showed moderate performance improvements for 5 m, 10 m, 20 m (effect-size [ES] = 0.68-0.82), T-test (ES=0.74), and CMJ (ES=0.85). Trivial-to-small improvements were observed for RSA (ES=-0.06-0.35). For the CG, within-group outcomes showed performance decrements with moderate (T-test [ES=0.71]), small (5 m [ES=0.46], and RSAbest [ES=0.20]), and trivial magnitude (10 m [ES=0.10], 20 m [ES=0.16] and RSAtotal [ES=0.00]). Further, trivial-to-small performance improvements were found for CMJ (ES=0.10) and RSAFI (ES=0.5). Between-group analyses revealed small-to-large effects in favor of EG for 5 m (ES=1.07), 10 m (ES=0.66), 20 m (ES=0.53), T-test (ES=1.38), and RSA (ES=0.68 to 0.78). A trivial between-group difference was demonstrated for CMJ (ES=-0.01).

Conclusions:

The NHE training intervention, in replacement of some handball-specific drills, was more effective than regular handball training in improving physical performance (i.e., linear sprint-time, jumping, CoD, and RSA) in young female handball players.

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Jason Moran, Gavin R.H. Sandercock, Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, Oliver Todd, Jay Collison and Dave A. Parry

Purpose:

The purpose of this intervention study was to investigate if a low-dose of plyometric training (PT) could improve sprint and jump performance in groups of different maturity status.

Method:

Male youth field hockey players were divided into Pre-PHV (from -1 to -1.9 from PHV; Experimental: n = 9; Control = 12) and Mid-PHV (0 to +0.9 from PHV; Experimental: n = 8; Control = 9) groups. Participants in the experimental groups completed 60 foot contacts, twice-weekly for 6 weeks.

Results:

PT exerted a positive effect (effect size: 0.4 [-0.4–1.2]) on 10 m sprint time in the experimental Mid-PHV group but this was less pronounced in the Pre-PHV group (0.1 [-0.6–0.9]). Sprint time over 30 m (Mid-PHV: 0.1 [-0.8–0.9]; Pre-PHV: 0.1 [-0.7–0.9]) and CMJ (Mid-PHV: 0.1 [-0.8–0.9]; Pre-PHV: 0.0 [-0.7–0.8]) was maintained across both experimental groups. Conversely, the control groups showed decreased performance in most tests at follow up. Between-group analysis showed positive effect sizes across all performance tests in the Mid-PHV group, contrasting with all negative effect sizes in the Pre-PHV group.

Conclusion:

These results indicate that more mature hockey players may benefit to a greater extent than less mature hockey players from a low-dose PT stimulus. Sixty foot contacts, twice per week, seems effective in improving short sprint performance in Mid-PHV hockey players.

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Yassine Negra, Helmi Chaabene, Senda Sammoud, Olaf Prieske, Jason Moran, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Ali Nejmaoui and Urs Granacher

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of loaded (LPJT) and unloaded (UPJT) plyometric jump training programmes on measures of muscle power, speed, change-of-direction and kicking-distance performance in prepubertal male soccer players.

Methods:

Participants (N=29) were randomly assigned to a LPJT group (n=13; age=13.0±0.7 years) using weighted vests or UPJT group (n=16; age=13.0±0.5 years) using body mass only. Before and after the intervention, tests for the assessment of proxies of muscle power (i.e., countermovement-jump [CMJ], standing-long-jump [SLJ]), speed (i.e., 5-m, 10-m, and 20-m sprint), change-of-direction (i.e., Illinois change-of-direction test [ICoDT], modified 505 agility test), and kicking-distance test were conducted. Data were analysed using magnitude-based inferences.

Results:

Within-group analyses for the LPJT group showed large and very large improvements for 10-m sprint-time (effect size [ES]=2.00) and modified 505 CoD (ES=2.83) tests, respectively. For the same group, moderate improvements were observed in ICoDT (ES=0.61), 5- and 20-m sprint-time (ES=1.00 for both tests), CMJ (ES=1.00) and MKD (ES=0.90). Small enhancements in the SLJ (ES=0.50) test were apparent. Regarding the UPJT group, small improvements were observed for all tests (ES=0.33 to 0.57) except 5-m and 10-m sprint-time (ES=1.00 and 0.63, respectively). Between-group analyses favored the LPJT group for the modified 505 CoD (ES=0.61), SLJ (ES=0.50), and MKD (ES=0.57) tests, but not for 5-m sprint-time (ES=1.00). Only trivial between-group differences were shown for the remaining tests (ES=0.00 to 0.09).

Conclusion:

Overall, LPJT appears to be more effective than UPJT in improving measures of muscle power, speed, change-of-direction and kicking-distance performance in prepubertal male soccer players.

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Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Cristian Alvarez, Felipe García-Pinillos, Paulo Gentil, Jason Moran, Lucas A. Pereira and Irineu Loturco

Purpose: To compare the effects of plyometric drop jump (DJ) training against those induced by regular soccer training and assess the transference effect coefficient (TEC) of DJs (“trained exercises”) performed from 20- (DJ20) and 40-cm (DJ40) height boxes with respect to different physical qualities (jumping, linear and change of direction speed, kicking, endurance, and maximal strength) in youth male soccer players. Methods: Participants were randomly divided into a control group (n = 20; age: 13.5 [1.9] y) and a DJ training group (n = 19; age: 13.2 [1.8] y), and trained for 7 weeks. A 2-way analysis of variance for repeated measures with the within-subject factor time (preintervention and postintervention) and between-subject factor group (intervention vs control) was performed. To calculate the TECs between the trained exercises (DJ20 and DJ40) and the physical tests, the ratio between the “result gains” (effect size [ES]) in the analyzed physical qualities and the result gains in the trained exercises were calculated. The TECs were only calculated for variables presenting an ES ≥ 0.2. Results: Significant improvements (ES = 0.21–0.46; P < .05) were observed in the DJ training group, except in linear sprint performance. The control group improved only the maximal strength (ES = 0.28; P < .05). Significant differences were observed in all variables (ES = 0.20–0.55; P < .05) in favor of the DJ training group, except for maximal strength (group × time interaction). Conclusions: A plyometric training scheme based on DJs was able to significantly improve the physical performance of youth male soccer players. Overall, greater TECs were observed for DJ40 (0.58–1.28) than DJ20 (0.55–1.21).