Effect of plyometric training on lower limb biomechanics in females

Rodrigo de Marche Baldon, Daniel F Moreira Lobato, Andre P Yoshimatsu, Ana Flávia dos Santos, Andrea L Francisco, Paulo R Pereira Santiago, Fábio V Serrão
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 2014, 24 (1): 44-50

OBJECTIVE: To verify the effects of plyometric training on lower limb kinematics, eccentric hip and knee torques, and functional performance.

DESIGN: Cohort study.

SETTING: Research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-six females were divided into a training group (TG; n = 18) that carried out the plyometric training for 8 weeks, and a control group (CG; n = 18) that carried out no physical training.

INTERVENTIONS: Twenty-four plyometric training sessions during approximately 8 weeks with 3 sessions per week on alternate days.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Lower limb kinematics (maximum excursion of hip adduction, hip medial rotation, and knee abduction during the single leg squat), eccentric hip (abductor, adductor, medial, and lateral rotator) isokinetic peak torques and knee (flexor and extensor) isokinetic peak torques, and functional performance (triple hop test and the 6-m timed hop test).

RESULTS: After 8 weeks, only the TG significantly reduced the values for the maximum excursion of knee abduction (P = 0.01) and hip adduction (P < 0.001). Similarly, only the TG significantly increased the eccentric hip abductor (P < 0.001) and adductor (P = 0.01) torques. Finally, only the TG significantly increased the values in the triple hop test (P < 0.001) and significantly decreased the values in the 6-m timed hop test (P < 0.001) after intervention.

CONCLUSION: Plyometric training alters lower limb kinematics and increases eccentric hip torque and functional performance, suggesting the incorporation of these exercises in preventive programs for ACL injuries.

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