Effects of plyometric jump training on measures of physical fitness and lower-limb asymmetries in prepubertal male soccer players: a randomized controlled trial

Senda Sammoud, Yassine Negra, Raja Bouguezzi, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Jason Moran, Chris Bishop, Helmi Chaabene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High level of physical fitness is a paramount soccer performance factor. As such, developing key components of physical fitness such as sprinting, jumping, and change of direction (CoD) at an early age empowers both short- and long-term performance success. Although previous research in prepubertal male soccer players has reported physical fitness performance enhancements following plyometric jump training (PJT), the effects on inter-limb asymmetries remain unclear. Objective: To assess the effects of PJT on measures of physical fitness and inter-limb asymmetries in prepubertal male soccer players. Methods: A total of 27 participants were recruited, and randomly assigned to either a PJT group (n = 13; age = 12.7 ± 0.2 years; maturity offset = -1.6 ± 0.7) or an active control group (CG) (n = 14; age = 11.8 ± 0.4 years; maturity offset = -2.51 ± 0.61). The training intervention lasted eight-week and was conducted during the in-season period, with twice-weekly sessions. Physical fitness tests were conducted before and after the intervention, including the 505 change-of-direction (CoD; [505 CoD test]), countermovement-jump (CMJ) height, standing-long-jump (SLJ) distance, and single-leg hop test for distance with dominant (SHTD-D) and non-dominant legs (SHTD-ND). A jump-based asymmetry score was calculated as the difference between HTD and HTND. Results: ANCOVA analysis revealed significant between-group differences in all physical fitness measures at post-test. Specifically, the PJT group showed significant large improvements in CMJ height, SLJ distance, HTD and HTND, and CoD speed (d = 0.84 to 2.00; ∆1.05% to 16.85%). Moreover, the PJT group showed a significant, small reduction in the inter-limb asymmetry score (d = 0.43; ∆-45.21%). In contrast, no significant changes were reported in the CG between pre-and post-tests (d = 0.07 to 0.24; ∆0.21% to 0.98%). Conclusions: The incorporation of PJT into the training schedules of prepubertal male soccer players resulted in positive effects on various measures of physical fitness. Furthermore, our findings suggest that PJT can reduce lower-limb asymmetry, which could potentially decrease the risk of lower limb injuries. Trial registration: This study does not report results related to healthcare interventions using human participants and therefore it was not prospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Football
  • Human physical conditioning
  • Jumping ability
  • Stretch–shortening cycle exercise
  • Youth sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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