Determining variables of plyometric training for improving vertical jump height performance: a meta-analysis

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Mar;23(2):495-506. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318196b7c6.


Plyometric training improves vertical jump height (VJH). However, the effectiveness of plyometric training depends on various factors. A meta-analysis of 56 studies with a total of 225 effect sizes (ESs) was carried out to analyze the role of various factors on the effects of plyometrics on VJH performance. The inclusion criteria for the analysis were a) studies using plyometric programs for lower-limb muscles, b) studies employing true experimental designs and valid and reliable measurements, and c) studies including enough data to calculate ESs. Subjects with more experience in sport obtained greater enhancements in VJH performance (p < 0.01). Subjects in either good or bad physical condition benefit equally from plyometric work (p < 0.05), although men tend to obtain better power results than women after plyometric training (p < 0.05). With relation to the variables of performance, training volumes of more than 10 weeks and more than 20 sessions, using high-intensity programs (with more than 50 jumps per session), were the strategies that seemed to maximize the probability of obtaining significantly greater improvements in performance (p < 0.05). To optimize jumping enhancement, the combination of different types of plyometrics (squat jump + countermovement jump + drop jump) is recommended rather than using only 1 form (p < 0.05). However, no extra benefits were found to be gained from doing plyometrics with added weight. The responses identified in this analysis are essential and should be considered by strength and conditioning professionals with regard to the most appropriate dose-response trends for optimizing plyometric-induced gains.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Sports / physiology*