Olympic weightlifting and plyometric training with children provides similar or greater performance improvements than traditional resistance training

J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jun;28(6):1483-96. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000305.

Abstract

A number of organizations recommend that advanced resistance training (RT) techniques can be implemented with children. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Olympic-style weightlifting (OWL), plyometrics, and traditional RT programs with children. Sixty-three children (10-12 years) were randomly allocated to a 12-week control OWL, plyometric, or traditional RT program. Pre- and post-training tests included body mass index (BMI), sum of skinfolds, countermovement jump (CMJ), horizontal jump, balance, 5- and 20-m sprint times, isokinetic force and power at 60 and 300° · s(-1). Magnitude-based inferences were used to analyze the likelihood of an effect having a standardized (Cohen's) effect size exceeding 0.20. All interventions were generally superior to the control group. Olympic weightlifting was >80% likely to provide substantially better improvements than plyometric training for CMJ, horizontal jump, and 5- and 20-m sprint times, whereas >75% likely to substantially exceed traditional RT for balance and isokinetic power at 300° · s(-1). Plyometric training was >78% likely to elicit substantially better training adaptations than traditional RT for balance, isokinetic force at 60 and 300° · s(-1), isokinetic power at 300° · s(-1), and 5- and 20-m sprints. Traditional RT only exceeded plyometric training for BMI and isokinetic power at 60° · s(-1). Hence, OWL and plyometrics can provide similar or greater performance adaptations for children. It is recommended that any of the 3 training modalities can be implemented under professional supervision with proper training progressions to enhance training adaptations in children.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Plyometric Exercise*
  • Postural Balance
  • Resistance Training
  • Running / physiology
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Weight Lifting*