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November 2017

The Effects of a Six-week Plyometric Training Program on the Stiffness of Anterior and Posterior Muscles of the Lower Leg in Male Volleyball Players

Authors: Dariusz Mroczek, Edward Superlak, Tomasz Seweryniak, Krzysztof Maćkała, Marek Konefał, Paweł Chmura, Dorota Borzucka, Zbigniew Rektor, Jan Chmura

Institution(s): University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Department of Biological and Motor Sport Bases, Poland; University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Department of Track and Field, Poland; Opole University of Technology, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Poland; University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Department of Sport Team Games, Poland; University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Department of Communication and Management in Sport, Poland

Journal: Central European Journal of Sport Sciences and Medicine - Year 2017, Volume 20, Issue 4, Pages 107-115 (DOI: 10.18276/cej.2017.4-11)

The study assesses the effects of a six-week plyometric training program (PT) on muscle stiffness in the dominant and non-dominant leg in male collegiate volleyball players. The study group comprised 16 volleyball players who had played collegiate volleyball for at least four years. For six consecutive weeks, twice a week, the players undertook a plyometric program of 60-min training sessions, each preceded with a specialist warm-up. The analysis of the anterior muscles of the right and the left lower leg revealed a significant increase in stiffness in the muscles of the right leg and the left leg. No significant differences were found between the anterior muscles of the left lower leg and the right lower leg in particular weeks of the training program. The analysis of the posterior lower leg muscles revealed no significant differences, either in the consecutive weekly training microcycles or between the left leg and the right leg. The measurement of muscle tone and biomechanical properties of muscles can be used as a fast and direct assessment of plyometric training-related muscle fatigue. A similar level of muscle stiffness in both lower legs (symmetry) is a reflection of the appropriate selection of plyometric training loads.

Keywords: Muscle stiffness, Plyometric training, Volleyball

The measurement of muscle tone and biomechanical properties of muscles can be used as a method of quick and direct assessment of plyometric training-related muscle fatigue. The volleyball player represented an intermediate level of sport performance and had a minimum of five years of training /match experience. This allowed to performed a 6 weeks of plyometric training without injury. The use of plyometric training in younger athletes representing lower level of sport experience needs a lot of care and methodical attention. A similar level of muscle stiffness of different muscle groups in both lower legs (symmetry) is a reflection of the appropriate selection of plyometric training loads. Different levels of muscle stiffness for both legs indicate the necessity of adjustment of training loads to ensure the balanced development of muscles and to prevent and reduce the risk of injuries.

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