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Effects of Vertically and Horizontally Orientated Plyometric Training on Physical Performance: A Meta-analytical Comparison

Abstract

Background

In accordance with the principle of training specificity, adaptations to vertically or horizontally orientated plyometric training (VPT, HPT) directly transfer to athletic tasks that are carried out in the same direction as they are performed.

Objectives

The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the relative effect of VPT and HPT on both vertical and horizontal measures of physical performance.

Data Sources

Google Scholar, CrossRef, Microsoft Academic, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus.

Study Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for inclusion in the meta-analysis, studies must have included a plyometric training intervention that compared jumps executed in a vertical direction [i.e. countermovement jump (CMJ)] to jumps executed in a horizontal direction (i.e. standing horizontal jump).

Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods

We used the inverse-variance random effects model for meta-analyses. Effect sizes, calculated from measures of horizontally or vertically orientated performance, were represented by the standardised mean difference and presented alongside 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results

For between-group analysis on horizontal outcomes, there was a moderate, significant effect size (ES) in favour of HPT (0.65 [95% CI 0.12, 1.18], Z = 2.41 [p = 0.02]). For the analysis on vertical outcomes, there was a trivial, non-significant difference between VPT and HPT (− 0.04 [95% CI − 0.33, 0.24], Z = 0.0.29 [p = 0.77]). Within-group analysis showed HPT to be superior to VPT across horizontally- (1.05 [0.38, 1.72] vs. 0.84 [0.37, 1.31]) and vertically-orientated (0.74 [0.08, 1.40] vs. 0.72 [0.02, 1.43]) performance measures. For horizontally-orientated outcomes, single-factor moderator analyses showed that longer programmes (> 7 weeks), more sessions (> 12) and combined bilateral and unilateral training were most effective, favouring HPT in each case. In vertically orientated outcomes, these same variables showed only trivial differences between HBT and VBT.

Conclusions

HPT is at least as effective as VPT at enhancing vertical performance but is superior at enhancing horizontal performance. This means that HPT might be a more efficient method for enhancing multi-vector performance for sport.

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Data Sharing Statement

There are no underlying data.

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Authors

Contributions

JM collected the data, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript, RRC collected the data and wrote the manuscript, BL analysed the data and wrote the manuscript, HC analysed the data and wrote the manuscript, DB wrote the manuscript, AGH analysed the data and wrote the manuscript, MI wrote the manuscript, UG analysed the data and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jason Moran.

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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.

Conflict of interest

Jason Moran, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Bernard Liew, Helmi Chaabene, David Behm, Antonio García-Hermoso, Mikel Izquierdo and Urs Granacher declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

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Moran, J., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Liew, B. et al. Effects of Vertically and Horizontally Orientated Plyometric Training on Physical Performance: A Meta-analytical Comparison. Sports Med 51, 65–79 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-020-01340-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-020-01340-6