Effects of resistance training on jumping performance in pre-adolescent rhythmic gymnasts: a randomized controlled study
The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of two different resistance training programs on lower limb explosive and reactive strength in young female athletes. Fifty seven rhythmic gymnasts were randomly assigned to unspecific resistance training with dumbbells (12 repetition maximum squats) (n=19; age=12.0±1.8 years) or to specific resistance training with weighted belts (6% of body mass; n=18; age=11.9 ± 1.0 years). Squat jump test, counter movement jump test, hopping test, flexibility of the hip, and anthropometric measures were assessed before and after six weeks training. The main result was that both unspecific resistance training and specific resistance training protocols positively affected the jumping performance, with an increase of the lower limb explosive strength of 6-7%, with no side effects. Counter movement jump flight time increased significantly (p<0.01) while hopping test ground contact time significantly decreased (p<0.01). No significant differences were detected among groups for flexibility, body mass, calf and thigh circumferences. Therefore, six weeks of resistance training that integrates different elements of rhythmic gymnastics training enhance jumping ability in young female athletes.