Effects of high-intensity interval training and plyometric exercise on the physical fitness of junior male handball players

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Dec;25(23):7380-7389. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202112_27434.


Objective: This study analyzed the effects of high intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with plyometric exercise on the physical fitness of junior male handball players.

Patients and methods: Subjects (age ~17 years) were randomly divided between experimental (n=17) and control (n=15) groups. During the 8-week intervention, the experimental group replaced a part of their regular regimen by HIIT, combined with plyometric exercise. Assessments in both groups before and after the intervention included: squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), sprint performance (5 m, 10 m, 20 m and 30 m), change of direction tests (Illinois modified test [Illinois-MT] and T-half test), 20-m shuttle run, and repeated sprint T-test.

Results: The two-way analyses of variance revealed significant group-time interactions (all p<0.05), favoring the intervention group in 5 m, 10 m, 20 m and 30 m sprint (d=0.33, 8.3%; d=0.52, 7.6%; d=0.57, 6.8%; and d=0.58, 8.8%, respectively), T-half (d=0.25, 5.1%), Illinois-MT (d=0.47, 4.2%), SJ and CMJ (d=0.34-0.39, 34-4-34.9%), repeated sprint T-test best time, mean time and total time (d=0.83, 6.9%; d=0.62, 7.4%; and d=0.61, 7.2%, respectively), 20 meter shuttle run test aerobic maximum speed and predicted maximal oxygen intake (d=0.36, 7.5%; d=0.19, 9.4%, respectively).

Conclusions: HIIT combined with plyometrics can aid in the development of physical fitness abilities, which are extremely important to junior male handball players.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • High-Intensity Interval Training / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Plyometric Exercise / methods*
  • Sports / physiology
  • Time Factors