Plyometric training is an effective method to prevent knee injuries in female athletes; however, the effects of plyometric training on jump performance in female athletes is unclear.
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effectiveness of plyometric training on vertical jump (VJ) performance of amateur, collegiate and elite female athletes.
Six electronic databases were searched (PubMed, MEDLINE, ERIC, Google Scholar, SCIndex and ScienceDirect). The included studies were coded for the following criteria: training status, training modality and type of outcome measures. The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the physiotherapy evidence database (PEDro) scale. The effects of plyometric training on VJ performance were based on the following standardised pre–post testing effect size (ES) thresholds: trivial (<0.20), small (0.21–0.60), moderate (0.61–1.20), large (1.21–2.00), very large (2.01–4.00) and extremely large (>4.00).
A total of 16 studies met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis revealed that plyometric training had a most likely moderate effect on countermovement jump (CMJ) height performance (ES = 1.09; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.57–1.61; I 2 = 75.60 %). Plyometric training interventions of less than 10 weeks in duration had a most likely small effect on CMJ height performance (ES = 0.58; 95 % CI 0.25–0.91). In contrast, plyometric training durations greater than 10 weeks had a most likely large effect on CMJ height (ES = 1.87; 95 % CI 0.73–3.01). The effect of plyometric training on concentric-only squat jump (SJ) height was likely small (ES = 0.44; 95 % CI −0.09 to 0.97). Similar effects were observed on SJ height after 6 weeks of plyometric training in amateur (ES = 0.35) and young (ES = 0.49) athletes, respectively. The effect of plyometric training on CMJ height with the arm swing was likely large (ES = 1.31; 95 % CI −0.04 to 2.65). The largest plyometric training effects were observed in drop jump (DJ) height performance (ES = 3.59; 95 % CI −3.04 to 10.23). Most likely extremely large plyometric training effects on DJ height performance (ES = 7.07; 95 % CI 4.71–9.43) were observed following 12 weeks of plyometric training. In contrast, a possibly small positive training effect (ES = 0.30; 95 % CI −0.63 to 1.23) was observed following 6 weeks of plyometric training.
Plyometric training is an effective form of training to improve VJ performance (e.g. CMJ, SJ and DJ) in female athletes. The benefits of plyometric training on VJ performance are greater for interventions of longer duration (≥10 weeks).
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ives JC. Motor behavior: connecting mind and body for optimal performance. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013.
Asadi A. Effects of six weeks depth jump and countermovement jump training on agility performance. J Sports Sci. 2012;5(1):67–70.
Holcomb WR, Lander JE, Rutland RM, et al. The effectiveness of a modified plyometric program on power and the vertical jump. J Strength Cond Res. 1996;10(2):89–92.
de Villarreal ESS, González-Badillo JJ, Izquierdo M. Low and moderate plyometric training frequency produces greater jumping and sprinting gains compared with high frequency. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(3):715–25.
Chu DA. Jumping into plyometrics. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 1998.
Arazi H, Asadi A. The effect of aquatic and land plyometric training on strength, sprint, and balance in young basketball players. J Hum Sport Exerc. 2011;6(1):101–11.
Hewett TE, Lindenfeld TN, Riccobene JV, et al. The effect of neuromuscular training on the incidence of knee injury in female athletes a prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 1999;27(6):699–706.
Hewett TE, Stroupe AL, Nance TA, et al. Plyometric training in female athletes decreased impact forces and increased hamstring torques. Am J Sports Med. 1996;24(6):765–73.
Arendt E, Dick R. Knee injury patterns among men and women in collegiate basketball and soccer NCAA data and review of literature. Am J Sports Med. 1995;23(6):694–701.
Briner WW Jr, Kacmar L. Common injuries in volleyball. Sports Med. 1997;24(1):65–71.
Huston LJ, Greenfield MLV, Wojtys EM. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the female athlete: potential risk factors. Clin Orthop. 2000;372:50–63.
Ireland ML. Anterior cruciate ligament injury in female athletes: epidemiology. J Athl Train. 1999;34(2):150.
Powell JW, Barber-Foss KD. Sex-related injury patterns among selected high school sports. Am J Sports Med. 2000;28(3):385–91.
Prapavessis H, McNair PJ. Effects of instruction in jumping technique and experience jumping on ground reaction forces. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1999;29(6):352–6.
Nagano Y, Ida H, Akai M, et al. Effects of jump and balance training on knee kinematics and electromyography of female basketball athletes during a single limb drop landing: pre-post intervention study. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2011;3(1):3–14.
Wilkerson GB, Colston MA, Short NI, et al. Neuromuscular changes in female collegiate athletes resulting from a plyometric jump-training program. J Athl Train. 2004;39(1):17–23.
Rubley MD, Haase AC, Holcomb WR, et al. The effect of plyometric training on power and kicking distance in female adolescent soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(1):129–34.
Pereira A, Costa AM, Santos P, et al. Training strategy of explosive strength in young female volleyball players. Medicina (Kaunas). 2015;51(2):126–31.
Myer GD, Ford KR, Brent JL, et al. Differential neuromuscular training effects on ACL injury risk factors in “high-risk” versus “low-risk” athletes. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2007;8(1):1.
Ignjatović A, Radovanović D. Physiological basis of force and strength training. Jagodina: Pedagogical Faculty; 2013.
Faigenbaum AD, Kraemer WJ, Blimkie CJ, et al. Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23:S60–79.
Thomas K, French D, Hayes PR. The effect of two plyometric training techniques on muscular power and agility in youth soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(1):332–5.
Meylan C, Malatesta D. Effects of in-season plyometric training within soccer practice on explosive actions of young players. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(9):2605–13.
de Villarreal ES-S, Kellis E, Kraemer WJ, et al. Determining variables of plyometric training for improving vertical jump height performance: a meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(2):495–506.
Dodd DJ, Alvar BA. Analysis of acute explosive training modalities to improve lower-body power in baseball players. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(4):1177–82.
Weiss LW, Relyea GE, Ashley CD, et al. Using velocity-spectrum squats and body composition to predict standing vertical jump ability. J Strength Cond Res. 1997;11(1):14–20.
Bosco C, Komi PV. Influence of aging on the mechanical behavior of leg extensor muscles. Eur J Appl Physiol. 1980;45(2–3):209–19.
De Villarreal ES-S, Requena B, Newton RU. Does plyometric training improve strength performance? A meta-analysis. J Sci Med Sport. 2010;13(5):513–22.
Kellis SE, Tsitskaris GK, Nikopoulou MD, et al. The evaluation of jumping ability of male and female basketball players according to their chronological age and major leagues. J Strength Cond Res. 1999;13(1):40–6.
Beunen G, Malina RM. Growth and physical performance relative to the timing of the adolescent spurt. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1988;16(1):503–40.
Malisoux L, Francaux M, Nielens H, et al. Stretch-shortening cycle exercises: an effective training paradigm to enhance power output of human single muscle fibers. J Appl Physiol. 2006;100(3):771–9.
Bosco C, Komi PV, Ito A. Prestretch potentiation of human skeletal muscle during ballistic movement. Acta Physiol Scand. 1981;111(2):135–40.
Bobbert MF, Gerritsen KG, Litjens MC, et al. Why is countermovement jump height greater than squat jump height? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28:1402–12.
Markovic G. Does plyometric training improve vertical jump height? A meta-analytical review. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(6):349–55.
Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, et al. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(4):264–9.
Maher CG, Sherrington C, Herbert RD, et al. Reliability of the PEDro scale for rating quality of randomized controlled trials. Phys Ther Sport. 2003;83(8):713–21.
Higgins JP, Thompson SG, Deeks JJ, et al. Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses. Br Med J. 2003;327(7414):557–60.
Hopkins W, Marshall S, Batterham A, et al. Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(1):3.
Ramírez-Campillo R, González-Jurado JA, Martínez C, et al. Effects of plyometric training and creatine supplementation on maximal-intensity exercise and endurance in female soccer players. J Sci Med Sport. 2015;19(8):682–7.
Ramírez-Campillo R, Vergara-Pedreros M, Henríquez-Olguín C, et al. Effects of plyometric training on maximal-intensity exercise and endurance in male and female soccer players. J Sports Sci. 2016;34(8):687–93.
Ramírez-Campillo R, Álvarez C, Henríquez-Olguín C, et al. Effects of plyometric training on endurance and explosive strength performance in competitive middle-and long-distance runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(1):97–104.
Campo SS, Vaeyens R, Philippaerts RM, et al. Effects of lower-limb plyometric training on body composition, explosive strength, and kicking speed in female soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(6):1714–22.
Chimera NJ, Swanik KA, Swanik CB, et al. Effects of plyometric training on muscle-activation strategies and performance in female athletes. J Athl Train. 2004;39(1):24–31.
Usman T, Shenoy K. Effects of lower body plyometric training on vertical jump performance and pulmonary function in male and female collegiate volleyball players. Int J Appl Exerc Physiol. 2015;4(2):9–19.
Irmischer BS, Harris C, Pfeiffer RP, et al. Effects of a knee ligament injury prevention exercise program on impact forces in women. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(4):703–7.
Kato T, Terashima T, Yamashita T, et al. Effect of low-repetition jump training on bone mineral density in young women. J Appl Physiol. 2006;100(3):839–43.
Makaruk H, Winchester JB, Sadowski J, et al. Effects of unilateral and bilateral plyometric training on power and jumping ability in women. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(12):3311–8.
Martel GF, Harmer ML, Logan JM, et al. Aquatic plyometric training increases vertical jump in female volleyball players. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37(10):1814–9.
Ozbar N. Effects of plyometric training on explosive strength, speed and kicking speed in female soccer players. Anthropologist. 2015;19(2):333–9.
Ozbar N, Ates S, Agopyan A. The effect of 8-week plyometric training on leg power, jump and sprint performance in female soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(10):2888–94.
Vescovi JD, Canavan PK, Hasson S. Effects of a plyometric program on vertical landing force and jumping performance in college women. Phys Ther Sport. 2008;9(4):185–92.
Attene G, Iuliano E, Di Cagno A, et al. Improving neuromuscular performance in young basketball players: plyometric vs. technique training. J Sports Med Phys Fit. 2014;55(1–2):1–8.
Gerodimos V, Zafeiridis A, Perkos S, et al. The contribution of stretch-shortening cycle and arm-swing to vertical jumping performance in children, adolescents, and adult basketball players. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2008;20(4):379–89.
Markovic G, Mikulic P. Neuro-musculoskeletal and performance adaptations to lower-extremity plyometric training. Sports Med. 2010;40(10):859–95.
Wilson GJ, Newton RU, Murphy AJ, et al. The optimal training load for the development of dynamic athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993;25(11):1279–86.
Harman EA, Rosenstein MT, Frykman PN, et al. The effects of arms and countermovement on vertical jumping. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990;22(6):825–33.
MacDougall D, Sale D. The physiology of training for high performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2014.
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review.
Conflict of interest
Emilija Stojanović, Vladimir Ristić, Daniel Travis McMaster and Zoran Milanović declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.
About this article
Cite this article
Stojanović, E., Ristić, V., McMaster, D.T. et al. Effect of Plyometric Training on Vertical Jump Performance in Female Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med 47, 975–986 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0634-6
- Female Athlete
- Vertical Jump
- Jump Performance
- Squat Jump
- Drop Jump