Effects of 8-Week In-Season Contrast Strength Training Program on Measures of Athletic Performance and Lower-Limb Asymmetry in Male Youth Volleyball Players.
Strength training using high and lower load such as contrast training (CST) seems to be beneficial as it addresses larger adaptive reserves in youth athletes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of CST on dynamic balance (composite score during dynamic balance test (CS-YBT)), one repetition maximum lower-limb back squat (1RM), jumping performance (single-leg hop (SLH) or countermovement jump height (CMJ)), lower-limb asymmetry (predicted from the single-leg jump performance between two legs [ILA]) in elite youth male volleyball players. Thirty-one male youth volleyball players aged 14 years were randomly assigned to a CST group (n = 16) or a control group (n = 15). The tests were performed before and after 8 weeks of training. Significant group × time interactions was observed for CS-YBT [p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.70], 1RM [p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.95], SLH with right and left leg [p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.69 and 0.51], CMJ [p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.47]), whilst it was not notable in ILA [p < 0.294]. Post hoc tests showed that CST group demonstrated greater improvement in all of the dependent variables from medium to large effect size (for all p < 0.001). As a result, 8 weeks of CST twice a week can be an effective and efficient training along with volleyball training to improve skill-related fitness measures, except for lower-limb asymmetry in young volleyball players.