Aim: This study aims to review the main methods used to improve vertical jump performance (VJP).
Methods: Although many training routines have been proposed, these can be grouped into four main categories: plyometric training (PT), weight training (WT), whole body vibration training (VT) and electromyostimulation training (ET). PT enhances muscular force, the rate of force development (RFD), muscular power, muscle contraction velocity, cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle stiffness allowing greater storage and release of elastic energy. WT improve muscular force, velocity, power output, and RFD during jumping on a force plate, muscle hypertrophy and neural adaptations. One of the most effective methods to improve VJP is the combination of PT with WT, which takes advantage of the enhancement of maximal dynamic force through WT and the positive effects of PT on speed and force of muscle contraction through its specific effect on type II fibers.
Results: Some authors have found an increase in VJP with the use of VT while other did not see such an effect. However, it remains unknown by which mechanisms VT could enhance VJP. ET has been shown to elicit muscle hypertrophy. The VJP may be improved when ET is applied concomitantly with PT or practice of sports.
Conclusion: In summary, scientific evidence suggests that the best way to improve VJP is through the combination of PT with WT. Further research is needed to establish if better results are possible by more complex strategies.