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Michael Behringer, Andreas vom Heede, Maria Matthews and Joachim Mester

The recent literature delineates resistance training in children and adolescents to be effective and safe. However, only little is known about the transfer of achieved strength gains to athletic performance. The present meta-analysis revealed a combined mean effect size for motor skill types jumping, running, and throwing of 0.52 (95% CI: 0.33–0.71). Effect sizes for each of aforementioned skill types separately were 0.54 (95% CI: 0.34–0.74), 0.53 (95% CI: 0.23–0.83), and 0.99 (95% CI: 0.19–1.79) respectively. Furthermore, it could be shown that younger subjects and nonathletes showed higher gains in motor performance following resistance training than their counterparts and that specific resistance training regimes were not advantageous over traditional resistance training programs. Finally, a positive dose response relationship for “intensity” could be found in subgroups using traditional training regimens. These results emphasize that resistance training provides an effective way for enhancing motor performance in children and adolescents.

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Michael Behringer, Sebastian Neuerburg, Maria Matthews and Joachim Mester

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the transferability of 2 different resistance training protocols on service velocity and its precision consistency in junior tennis players. Thirty-six male athletes (15.03 ± 1.64 years) were randomly assigned to a machine-based resistance-training group (RG, n = 12), a plyometric training group (PG, n = 12), and a control group (CG, n = 12). For a period of 8 weeks, both intervention groups resistance trained 2 days per week in addition to their regular tennis training, whereas the CG had no extra training. Mean service velocity over 20 maximum-velocity serves increased significantly more in PG (3.78%; p < .05) when compared with CG, whereas no such changes could be found in the RG (1.18%; p > .05). Service precision did not change from pre- to posttest in all three groups (p > .05). Only the plyometric training program tested, improved mean service velocity over 20 maximum-velocity serves in junior tennis players but did not affect service precision.