The effectiveness of aquatic plyometric training in improving strength, jumping, and sprinting : A systematic review

Journal article


Heywood, Sophie E., Mentiplay, Benjamin F., Chan, Ann E., McClelland, Jodie A., Geigle, Paula R., Bower, Kelly J. and Clark, Ross A.. (2022). The effectiveness of aquatic plyometric training in improving strength, jumping, and sprinting : A systematic review. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 31(1), pp. 85-98. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2020-0432
AuthorsHeywood, Sophie E., Mentiplay, Benjamin F., Chan, Ann E., McClelland, Jodie A., Geigle, Paula R., Bower, Kelly J. and Clark, Ross A.
Abstract

Context: Aquatic plyometric training may provide benefits due to reduced joint loading compared with land plyometric training; however, the reduced loading may also limit performance gains. Objective: To systematically review the effect of aquatic plyometric training on strength, performance outcomes, soreness, and adverse events in healthy individuals. Evidence acquisition: Five databases were searched from inception to June 2020. Quality assessment and data extraction were independently completed by 2 investigators. When similar outcome measures were used, standardized mean differences were calculated. Evidence synthesis: A total of 19 randomized controlled trials with 633 participants (mean age, range 14–30 y) were included. Aquatic plyometric training was most commonly performed in waist to chest deep water (12/19 studies), 2 to 3 times per week for 6 to 12 weeks (18/19 studies), with final program foot contacts ranging from 120 to 550. Meta-analyses were not completed due to the clinical and statistical heterogeneity between studies. Compared with land plyometric training, aquatic plyometric training exercises and dosage were replicated (15/16 studies) and showed typically similar performance gains (3/4 knee extensor strength measures, 2/4 leg extensor strength measures, 3/4 knee flexor strength measures, 7/10 vertical jump measures, 3/3 sprint measures). In total, 2 of 3 studies monitoring muscle soreness reported significantly less soreness following training in water compared with on land. Compared with no active training (no exercise control group or passive stretching), most effect sizes demonstrated a mean improvement favoring aquatic plyometric training (23/32 measures). However, these were not significant for the majority of studies measuring isokinetic knee strength, vertical jump, and sprinting. The effect sizes for both studies assessing leg press strength indicated that aquatic plyometric training is significantly more effective than no training. Conclusion: Aquatic plyometric training appears similarly effective to land plyometric exercise for improving strength, jumping, and sprinting and may be indicated when joint impact loading needs to be minimized. However, the low quality of studies limits the strength of the conclusions.

Keywordsballistic; power; strength training; resistance training; aquatic; rehabilitation
Year2022
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Journal citation31 (1), pp. 85-98
PublisherHuman Kinetics Publishers Inc.
ISSN1056-6716
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2020-0432
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85130989127
Page range85-98
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online14 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Mar 2023
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