Acute Effects of Different Plyometric and Strength Exercises on Balance Performance in Youth Weightlifters

Hanen Werfelli, Raouf Hammami, Mohamed Amine Selmi, Walid Selmi, Goran Gabrilo, Cain C.T. Clark, Michael Duncan, Damir Sekulic, Urs Granacher, Haithem Rebai

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    Background: High-intensity muscle actions have the potential to temporarily improve the performance which has been denoted as postactivation performance enhancement. Objectives: This study determined the acute effects of different stretch-shortening (fast vs. low) and strength (dynamic vs. isometric) exercises executed during one training session on subsequent balance performance in youth weightlifters. Materials and Methods: Sixteen male and female young weightlifters, aged 11.3±0.6years, performed four strength exercise conditions in randomized order, including dynamic strength (DYN; 3 sets of 3 repetitions of 10 RM) and isometric strength exercises (ISOM; 3 sets of maintaining 3s of 10 RM of back-squat), as well as fast (FSSC; 3 sets of 3 repetitions of 20-cm drop-jumps) and slow (SSSC; 3 sets of 3 hurdle jumps over a 20-cm obstacle) stretch-shortening cycle protocols. Balance performance was tested before and after each of the four exercise conditions in bipedal stance on an unstable surface (i.e., BOSU ball with flat side facing up) using two dependent variables, i.e., center of pressure surface area (CoP SA) and velocity (CoP V). Results: There was a significant effect of time on CoP SA and CoP V [F(1,60)=54.37, d=1.88, p<0.0001; F(1,60)=9.07, d=0.77, p=0.003]. In addition, a statistically significant effect of condition on CoP SA and CoP V [F(3,60)=11.81, d=1.53, p<0.0001; F(3,60)=7.36, d=1.21, p=0.0003] was observed. Statistically significant condition-by-time interactions were found for the balance parameters CoP SA (p<0.003, d=0.54) and CoP V (p<0.002, d=0.70). Specific to contrast analysis, all specified hypotheses were tested and demonstrated that FSSC yielded significantly greater improvements than all other conditions in CoP SA and CoP V [p<0.0001 (d=1.55); p=0.0004 (d=1.19), respectively]. In addition, FSSC yielded significantly greater improvements compared with the two conditions for both balance parameters [p<0.0001 (d=2.03); p<0.0001 (d=1.45)]. Conclusion: Fast stretch-shortening cycle exercises appear to be more effective to improve short-term balance performance in young weightlifters. Due to the importance of balance for overall competitive achievement in weightlifting, it is recommended that young weightlifters implement dynamic plyometric exercises in the fast stretch-shortening cycle during the warm-up to improve their balance performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number716981
    Number of pages10
    JournalFrontiers in Physiology
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms
    of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or
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    Funding Information: The authors acknowledge the support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and Open Access Publishing Fund of the University of Potsdam, Germany.


    • adolescents
    • conditioning exercise
    • performance
    • postural stability
    • weightlifting

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Physiology (medical)


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