Neuromuscular Changes in Female Collegiate Athletes Resulting From a Plyometric Jump-Training Program

J Athl Train. 2004 Mar;39(1):17-23.


OBJECTIVE: To assess performance changes induced by a 6- week plyometric jump-training program. DESIGN AND SETTING: We used a quasiexperimental design to compare groups formed on the basis of team membership. Testing was conducted in an athletic training research laboratory, both before and after a 6-week period of preseason basketball conditioning. SUBJECTS: Nineteen female collegiate basketball players from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program (8 subjects) and a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II program (11 subjects) who had no history of anterior cruciate ligament injury and who had no history of any lower extremity injury during the preceding 6 months. MEASUREMENTS: The variables of primary interest were hamstrings and quadriceps isokinetic peak torque. Of secondary interest were 5 variables derived from step-down and lunging maneuvers performed on a computerized forceplate system and 4 variables derived from tracking the position of the body core during performance of a T-pattern agility drill with a computerized infrared tracking system. RESULTS: A significant group x trial interaction was found for hamstrings peak torque at 60 degrees.s(-1) (F(1,17) = 9.16, P =.008.), and the proportion of total variance attributable to the treatment effect produced by the jump-training program was relatively large (eta(2) =.35, omega(2) =.30). None of the other variables demonstrated statistically significant changes. CONCLUSIONS: Our primary results support plyometric jump training as a strategy for improving neuromuscular attributes that are believed to reduce the risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in female college basketball players. They also provide the basis for reasonable isokinetic strength goals.