Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 615–621 | Cite as

A combined plyometric and resistance training program improves fitness performance in 12 to 14-years-old boys

  • Francesco Fischetti
  • Stefania Cataldi
  • Gianpiero GrecoEmail author
Original Article



Nowadays resistance and plyometric training are deemed to be a crucial component of a health promoting lifestyle in youth. Effects of resistance training and plyometric training may actually be synergistic, with their combined effects being greater than each program performed alone.


This randomized controlled study aimed to compare the effects of an 8-week training period of combined plyometric and resistance training with resistance training alone on fitness performance in boys.


Participants (24 boys, 12–14 years) were randomly assigned to an 8-week combined training group (CT, n = 12) that performed plyometric exercises (~ 20 min.) followed by resistance training or a resistance training group (RT, n = 12) that performed static stretching exercises (~ 20 min.) followed by the same resistance training program. Both groups performed twice weekly training sessions of 90 min. At baseline and after training all participants were tested on the 20-m sprint (time) and Squat Jump (power, velocity, force and height).


The CT group showed significantly (p < 0.05) improvement than RT in the 20-m sprint time (− 0.07 vs. 0.05 s), and Squat Jump (Power: 159.0 vs. − 5.0 W; velocity: 0.2 vs. − 0.2 m s−1; force: 41.2 vs. − 57.4 N; height: 10.6 vs. − 0.3 cm) following training.


Results suggest that when seeking to induce specific acute adaptations in vertical jump and acceleration capacities in lower limbs, male adolescents may benefit more from exposure to a combination of plyometric and resistance training methods.


Adolescent Strength training Stretch–shortening cycle Power 


Author contributions

FF designed the study, was involved in the interpretation of data, wrote and revised the manuscript. SC collected data and was involved in the interpretation of data and writing of the manuscript. GG designed the study, carried out the statistical analysis, interpreted the data, wrote and revised the manuscript. All authors contributed intellectually to the manuscript and all authors have read the manuscript and approved the submission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants and their parents received a complete explanation in advance about the purpose of the experiment and the parents provided written consent to the study.


  1. 1.
    Fatouros IG, Jamurtas AZ, Leontsini D et al (2000) Evaluation of plyometric exercise training, weight training, and their combination on vertical jumping performance and leg strength. J Strength Cond Res 14:470–476Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fleck SJ, Kraemer W (2014) Designing resistance training programs, 4th edn. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Faigenbaum AD, Kraemer WJ, Blimkie CJ, Jeffreys I, Micheli LJ, Nitka M, Rowland TW (2009) Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. J Strength Cond Res 23:S60–S79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lloyd RS, Faigenbaum AD, Stone MH et al (2014) Position statement on youth resistance training: the 2014 international consensus. Br J Sports Med 48:498–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Meylan CMP, Cronin JB, Oliver JL, Hopkins WG, Contreras B (2014) The effect of maturation on adaptations to strength training and detraining in 11–15-year-olds. Scand J Med Sci Sports 24:e156–e164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McNeely E, Armstrong L (2002) Strength training for children: a review and recommendations. Phys Health Educ J 68:1–6Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Faigenbaum AD, Mediate P (2006) Effects of medicine ball training on fitness performance of high school physical education students. Phys Educ 63:160–167Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Flanagan SP, Laubach LL, De Marco Jr GM et al (2002) Effects of two different strength training modes on motor performance in children. Res Q Exerc Sport 73:340–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kotzamanidis C (2006) Effect of plyometric training on running performance and vertical jumping in prepubertal boys. J Strength Cond Res 20:441–445PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Matavulj D, Kukolj M, Ugarkovic D, Tihanyi J, Jaric S (2001) Effects of pylometric training on jumping performance in junior basketball players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 41:159–164PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Moran JJ, Sandercock GR, Ramírez-Campillo R, Meyla CM, Collison JA, Parry DA (2017) Age-related variation in male youth athletes’ countermovement jump after plyometric training: a meta-analysis of controlled trials. J Strength Cond Res 31:552–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Faigenbaum AD, Milliken L, Moulton L, Westcott WL (2005) Early muscular fitness adaptations in children in response to two different resistance training regimens. Pediatr Exerc Sci 17:237–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    World Health Organization (2010) Global recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Behm DG, Young JD, Whitten JH et al (2017) Effectiveness of traditional strength vs. power training on muscle strength, power and speed with youth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Front physiol 8:423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Michaleff ZA, Kamper SJ (2011) Effects of resistance training in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med 45:755. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gomez-Bruton A, Matute-Llorente A, González-Agüero A, Casajus JA, Vicente-Rodriguez G (2017) Plyometric exercise and bone health in children and adolescents: a systematic review. World J Pediatr 13:112–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schranz N, Tomkinson G, Olds T (2013) What is the effect of resistance training on the strength, body composition and psychosocial status of overweight and obese children and adolescents? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med 43:893–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Faigenbaum AD, McFarland JE, Keiper FB, Tevlin W, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Hoffman JR (2007) Effects of a short-term plyometric and resistance training program on fitness performance in boys age 12 to 15 years. J Sports Sci Med 6:519–525PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Santos EJ, Janeira MA (2008) Effects of complex training on explosive strength in adolescent male basketball players. J Strength Cond Res 22:903–909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shehab R, Mirabelli M, Gorenflo D, Fetters MD (2006) Pre-exercise stretching and sports related injuries: knowledge, attitudes and practices. Clin J Sport Med 16:228–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Haff G, Triplett NT (2015) Essentials of strength training and conditioning, 4th edn. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    McHugh MP, Cosgrave CH (2010) To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports 20:169–181PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Myer GD, Ford KR, Palumbo OP, Hewett TE (2005) Neuromuscular training improves performance and lower-extremity biomechanics in female athletes. J Strength Cond Res 19:51–60PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Faul F, Erdfelder E, Lang AG, Buchner A (2007) G*Power 3: a flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behav Res Methods 39:175–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Reiman M, Manske R (2009) Functional testing in human performance. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Markovic G, Dizdar D, Jukic I, Cardinale M (2004) Reliability and factorial validity of squat and countermovement jump tests. J Strength Cond Res 18:551–555PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Balsalobre-Fernández C, Marchante D, Baz-Valle E, Alonso-Molero I, Jiménez SL, Muñóz-López M (2017) Analysis of wearable and smartphone-based technologies for the measurement of barbell velocity in different resistance training exercises. Front Physiol 8:649. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Behm DG, Blazevich AJ, Kay AD, McHugh M (2016) Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 41:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chu D, Faigenbaum A, Falkel J (2006) Progressive plyometrics for kids. Healthy Learning, MontereyGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bompa TO, Buzzichelli CA (2018) Periodization: theory and methodology of training, 6th edn. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vincent W, Weir JP (2012) Statistics in kinesiology, 4th edn. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Lloyd RS, Radnor JM, Croix MBDS, Cronin JB, Oliver JL (2016) Changes in sprint and jump performances after traditional, plyometric, and combined resistance training in male youth pre-and post-peak height velocity. J Strength Cond Res 30:1239–1247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Racil G, Zouhal H, Elmontassar W, Abderrahmane AB, De Sousa MV, Chamari K et al (2015) Plyometric exercise combined with high-intensity interval training improves metabolic abnormalities in young obese females more so than interval training alone. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 41:103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Battaglia G, Paoli A, Bellafiore M, Bianco A, Palma A (2014) Influence of a sport-specific training background on vertical jumping and throwing performance in young female basketball and volleyball players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 54:581–587PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hunter JP, Marshall RN (2002) Effects of power and flexibility training on vertical jump technique. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34:478–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Greco G, Tambolini R, Ambruosi P, Fischetti F (2017) Negative effects of smartphone use on physical and technical performance of young footballers. J Physical Educ Sports 17:2495–2501Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Fischetti F, Greco G (2017) Multilateral methods in physical education improve physical capacity and motor skills performance of the youth. J Physical Educ Sports 17:2160–2168Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Greco G, Settimo M, Fischetti F (2018) Relationship between the correct running technique and lower back well-being perceived by the practitioner. J Physical Educ Sports 18:1796–1800Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, School of MedicineUniversity of Study of BariBariItaly

Personalised recommendations