Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Unilateral versus Bilateral Lower-body Resistance and Plyometric Training for Change of Direction Speed

Unilateral versus Bilateral Lower-body Resistance and Plyometric Training for Change of Direction Speed

Change of direction (COD) speed can be considered a key element in sports performance and as such research has considered multiple ways to improve COD performance. It has been shown that unilateral training produces greater muscle activation of the hip abductors than bilateral training, which in turn, are hypothesised to be significantly activated in change of direction movements. The aims of the present study were to compare progressive unilateral and bilateral lower body resistance and plyometric training on COD and linear speed performance. Fifteen collegiate male rugby players were randomly assigned to either unilateral (UNI; n=8) or bilateral (BIL; n=7) training groups. Both groups trained twice per week for 6 weeks, performing either UNI or BIL strength and plyometric exercises. Pre- and post-intervention testing included T- and Illinois agility tests, and 10m sprint. Data analysis revealed significantly greater improvements in absolute change in favour of the UNI group for T-test (p<0.05; UNI = -0.63 ± 0.36 seconds; BIL = -0.11 ± 0.03 seconds) and Illinois agility test (p=0.050; UNI = -0.80 ± 0.25 seconds; BIL = -0.50 ± 0.06 seconds). A significantly greater improvement in absolute change for the 10m sprint test was found for the BIL group (p=0.007; UNI = 0.01 ± 0.12 seconds; BIL = -0.07 ± 0.04 seconds).

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