Library Dissertation Showcase

How does different volumes of plyometric training impact improvements to stretch-shortening cycle utilization?

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2022

This study investigated the effects of volume of plyometric training (PT) on improvements to stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) utilization in long distance runners of varying abilities. The SSC plays a key role in running performance by reducing the metabolic cost of running, otherwise known as running economy (RE). PT is a widely known method for improving the SSC, but little research has looked to optimize training with regards to volume, with no research to date focused on long distance runners despite the links between PT and improved running performance as a result of an improved RE. Eight long distance runners were recruited and then where matched for ability and allocated to either a low volume (LV) or a high volume (HV) intervention group. The intervention lasted 4-weeks consisting of two sessions per week for both groups with the only factor differing between the groups being the session volume with the HV group performing double the amount of foot contacts per session than LV. Pre and post intervention testing followed a standardized format consisting of a five-minute warm up followed by drop jumps at 15cm, 30cm & 45cm. For each height the participants were asked to perform three drop jumps from which jump height (JH), contact time (CT) and reactive strength index (RSI) were measured. The results show that JH and RSI exhibited a statistically significant main effect of time (p < 0.05) at all heights while CT did not in both groups. Furthermore, there was no significant interaction between group and time (P > 0.05) or main effect of group (P > 0.05), showing that there was no difference in magnitude of improvement between LV and HV to SSC utilization. This is in line with the current available literature in team sports that found short term plyometric interventions of LV and HV to produce similar response to training. Thus, suggesting that implementing lower volume plyometric programme in long distance runners is more efficient than HV and will held to reduce potential risks of overtraining.

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