Effects of Plyometric Training on Physical Fitness Attributes in Handball Players: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This meta-analysis aimed to examine the effects of plyometric training on physical fitness attributes in handball players. A systematic literature search across PubMed, SCOPUS, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science identified 20 studies with 563 players. Plyometric training showed significant medium-to-large effects on various attributes: countermovement jump with arms (ES = 1.84), countermovement jump (ES = 1.33), squat jump (ES = 1.17), and horizontal jump (ES = 0.83), ≤ 10-m linear sprint time (ES = -1.12), > 10-m linear sprint time (ES = -1.46), repeated sprint ability with change-of-direction time (ES = -1.53), agility (ES = -1.60), maximal strength (ES = 0.52), and force–velocity (muscle power) (ES = 1.13). No significant impact on balance was found. Subgroup analysis indicated more pronounced agility improvements in players ≤ 66.6 kg compared to > 66.6 kg (ES = -1.93 vs. -0.23, p = 0.014). Additionally, greater improvements were observed in linear sprint and repeat sprint ability when comparing training durations of > 8 weeks with those ≤ 8 weeks (ES = -2.30 to -2.89 vs. ES = -0.92 to -0.97). In conclusion, plyometric training effectively improves various physical fitness attributes, including jump performance, linear sprint ability, maximal strength, muscle power and agility.

Sports Medicine

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