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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2021 November;180(11):722-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.20.04546-5


lingua: Inglese

Effects of underweight-plyometric training on the neuromuscular characteristics in professional rugby players

Enrico REJC 1, Mirco FLOREANI 2, 3, Filippo VACCARI 2, 3 , Nicola GIOVANELLI 2, 3, Alberto BOTTER 2, 3, Alessandro GANZINI 2, 3, Stefano LAZZER 2, 3

1 Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA; 2 Department of Medicine, University of Udine, Udine, Italy; 3 School of Sport Sciences, University of Udine, Udine, Italy

BACKGROUND: Many sport performances are influenced by maximal muscular power. Stereotyped training stimuli progressively reduce their potential to improve the neuromuscular factors contributing to maximal muscular power. Herein, we investigated the effects of substituting a standard resistance training with a plyometric training performed in a condition equivalent to about half body weight (UP training) on neuromuscular characteristics of the lower limbs in professional rugby players.
METHODS: Athletes were divided into two homogenous groups: the control group maintained its regular resistance training twice per week for eight weeks, while the treatment group substituted the regular resistance training with UP training on a sledge ergometer.
RESULTS: After UP training: 1) maximal explosive power of the lower limbs did not change significantly in squat jump, countermovement jump and drop jump; 2) maximal voluntary isometric contraction of plantar flexors substantially increased (+35.9%, P<0.001); and 3) vastus lateralis muscle architecture remained unvaried. In addition, the duration of the UP-training sessions was much shorter than the regular resistance training (15 min vs. 90 min on average).
CONCLUSIONS: UP training appears to be suitable for professional power athletes when strength and conditioning coaches aim at reducing training volume (i.e., tapering) while maintaining muscle power.

KEY WORDS: Sports nutritional physiological phenomena; Team sports; Athletes; Physical functional performance; Resistance training

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