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How do plyometric exercises influence balance in Olympic weightlifting?

Summary of an article on the effects of different warm-ups on power output in Olympic weightlifting.

Who

16 healthy youth Olympic weightlifters (5 females, 11 males) aged 11.3±0.6 years with at least 2.4 years of experience and training 2-3 times per week for 90 minutes (Tunisia).

Design

Randomized cross-over controlled trial, the influence of each exercise condition on balance was tested on a separate day with 48 hours break between conditions.

Dynamic strength

  • 3 sets of 3 repetitions of back squats
  • 10RM weight on the bar
  • 20 minutes

Isometric strength

  • 3 sets of 3s hold of 10RM back squat
  • at 90° knee flexion
  • 20 minutes

Fast stretch-shortening cycle

  • 3 sets of 3 reps of drop jumps
  • from a 20-cm box
  • 20 minutes

Slow stretch-shortening cycle

  • 3 sets of 3 reps of hurdle jumps
  • over a 20-cm hurdle
  • 20 minutes

Outcome measures

  • balance tested on a Bosu ball (center of pressure surface area, center of pressure velocity)

Main results

How do plyometric exercises influence balance in Olympic weightlifting - Infographic

  • Fast stretch-strengthening cycle group’s training was the most effective in improving balance (on both center of pressure surface area and velocity measures).

Take home message

For a clinician & coach
Drop jumps were the most effective in impoving balance performance out of hurdle jumps, squats and paused/hold squats.
For a parent
Drop jumps before the exercise session are great to improve balance.
For an athlete
Include 2-3 sets of 3 reps of drop jumps (from 20-cm box) into your warm-up if you need to improve your balance.

Original article

Werfelli H, Hammami R, Selmi MA, Selmi W, Gabrilo G, Clark CC, Duncan M, Sekulic D, Granacher U, Rebai H. Acute Effects of Different Plyometric and Strength Exercises on Balance Performance in Youth Weightlifters. Frontiers in Physiology. 2021:1475.

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