Enhancing jump ground reaction forces in children through jump training
Plyometric training is a popular form of exercise training and is often included in exercise programmes and tests for children. As such, the aim of the study was to determine the effect of different types of plyometric jumps on jump performance in children. Forty children were randomly assigned into either one of three experimental groups: Group 1, mean age 13.80±1.23, (training based on jumps) (JUM); Group 2, mean age, 13.50±0.97 (training based on hops) (HOP); Group 3, mean age, 13.90±1.20 (training based on box drills) (BOX); Group 4, mean age 13.90±1.20 (non-exercising control group) (CON). Training lasted nine weeks. Jump ground reaction forces were assessed using: counter-movement jump (CMJ), continuous jump with bent legs (CJb) and drop jump (DJ). This study elicited significant (p≤0.05) improvements in jump height in all test jumps (CMJ, CJb and DJ) in the JUM, HOP and BOX. Furthermore, the JUM and HOP resulted in increases in jumping power during CMJ and CJb with only the BOX improving jump power during the DJ. Only the JUM resulted in significant increases in jump force during the CMJ. These improvements following simple jumps requiring minimal equipment strongly support the use of jump training to enhance athletic performance in children.
Key words: Jump intervention; Plyometric training; Jump performance; Children; Stretch-shortening exercises.