DOI: 10.1519/jsc.0000000000004398 ISSN: 1064-8011

Acute Effects of High-Load vs. Plyometric Conditioning Activity on Jumping Performance and the Muscle-Tendon Mechanical Properties

Michał Krzysztofik, Michał Wilk, Anna Pisz, Dominik Kolinger, Marta Bichowska, Adam Zajac, Petr Stastny
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • General Medicine


Krzysztofik, M, Wilk, M, Pisz, A, Kolinger, D, Bichowska, M, Zajac, A, and Stastny, P. Acute effects of high-load versus plyometric conditioning activity on jumping performance and the muscle-tendon mechanical properties. J Strength Cond Res 37(7): 1397–1403, 2023—The effectiveness of high-load and plyometric exercises as conditioning activity (CA) is not well described in the level of performance enhancement and muscle-tendon properties. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effectiveness of high-loaded back squats and body mass tuck jumps among amateur soccer players on the height of countermovement jump performed without (CMJ) and with arm swing (CMJa) and to verify the usefulness of the myotonometry in assessing the level of CA-induced fatigue. Therefore, 16 male amateur soccer players (resistance training experience: 2 ± 1 year, relative 1 repetition maximum back squat strength: 1.41 ± 0.12 kg·body mass−1) performed 3 experimental sessions to compare the acute effects of 3 sets of 3 repetitions at 85% one repetition maximum of half back squats (HL), 3 sets of 5 repetitions of tuck jump exercises (PLY), and no CA (CTRL) on CMJ and CMJa height. Moreover, the gastrocnemius medialis and Achilles tendon tone and stiffness were examined. Measurements were performed 5 minutes before CA and in the third, sixth, and ninth minutes after CA. The CMJ height significantly increased from pre-CA to post-CA in the CTRL (p = 0.005; effect size [ES] = 0.36; Δ = +3.4%) and PLY (p = 0.001; ES = 0.83; Δ = +8.8%) conditions. Moreover, post-CA jump height was significantly higher in PLY than in the HL condition (p = 0.024; ES = 0.6; Δ = +5.9%). No significant differences were found for CMJa height, tone, and stiffness of gastrocnemius medialis and Achilles tendon. The low-volume plyometric CA (i.e., 3 sets of 5 repetitions) is recommended instead of high-loaded CA (≥85% one repetition maximum) for amateur athletes. In addition, it has been established that the performance improvement was independent of changes in the mechanical properties of the gastrocnemius medialis and Achilles tendon. Furthermore, it seems that the complexity of the post-CA task may affect the magnitude of the postactivation performance enhancement.

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