Vertical Versus Horizontal Training for Improving the Change of Direction Speed in Adult Basketball Players: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Francisco J. Barrera-Domínguez, Dario Martínez-García, Daniel Jerez-Mayorga, Luís Javier Chirosa-Ríos, Bartolomé J. Almagro, Jorge Molina-López

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Barrera-Domínguez, FJ, Martínez-García, D, Jerez-Mayorga, D, Chirosa-Ríos, LJ, Almagro, BJ, and Molina-López, J. Vertical versus horizontal training for improving the change of direction speed in adult basketball players: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res 38(4): 791-803, 2024 - The ability to perform changes of direction (COD) is a complex skill that involves the application of multiple force-orientations, and its execution at maximum speed is crucial in basketball players. The present study aimed to synthesize findings from previous interventions classified according to force-orientation (vertical, horizontal, or mixed) and determine their magnitude of the effect on COD performance in basketball players. A systematic review of the literature was performed in several databases (Web of Science, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed) following the PRISMA statement and reviewed the quality of the included papers according to the Cochrane Collaboration Guidelines Assessment. Sixteen articles with a total of 21 reports were included to analyze the role of force-orientations in COD performance. For the meta-analysis, the standardized mean differences with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to determine the chronic changes induced by training and performed an effect size (ES) analysis with a random-effects model. The results showed that all force-orientations generated improvements in COD performance (ES = -0.47 [95% CI -0.57, -0.36], Z = 8.74 [p < 0.01]). It was a mixed force-orientation that produced the greatest changes (ES = -0.91 [95% CI -1.27, -0.55], Z = 4.96 [p < 0.01]), followed by vertical training (ES = -0.45 [95% CI -0.70, -0.20], Z = 3.51 [p < 0.01]). Horizontal training was the least studied and showed the smallest change (ES = -0.10 [95% CI -0.14, -0.07], Z = 5,71 [p < 0.01]). This meta-analysis demonstrates that mixed vertical and horizontally oriented training may be the most optimal because it offers a greater variety of multidirectional stimuli that better prepares the athlete to deal with complex COD in real-game situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-803
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • agility
  • force orientation
  • multidirectional speed
  • plyometric
  • strength
  • team sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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