Strength training for throwing velocity enhancement in overhead throw: A systematic review and meta-analysis

D. Martínez-García, L. J. Chirosa Ríos, A. Rodriguez-Perea, D. Ulloa-Díaz, D. Jerez-Mayorga, I. J. Chirosa Ríos

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The overhead throw is a fundamental technical-tactical ability for overhead sports. The purposes of this review are to assess the effect of resistance training (RT) in enhancing throwing velocity in athletes and to investigate the relationships between age or gender in this effect. Control group trials were identified through looking up electronic databases with a search span of 10th December 2020. Only studies which have control groups within research design, subjects randomly assigned to groups, healthy athletes with experience in the sport, an intervention consisting of a supervised RT program of a minimum duration of 4 weeks, and assessment of sport-specific throwing velocity were taken into account for this meta-analysis. A total of 16 studies with 424 subjects were deemed eligible per the inclusion criteria. The overall pooled analysis demonstrated that a large effect was observed for throwing velocity outcomes (ES 1.10; 95% CI 0.64–1.57; p < 0.00001). Differences were due to gender, with male (ES 1.12; 95% CI 0.55–1.78; p < 0.0001) and female athletes (ES 1.22; 95% CI 0.25–2.20; p < 0.00001). And due to age, with teenager athletes (ES 0.49; 95% CI -0.18–1.17; p = 0.04) and adult athletes (ES 1.34; 95% CI 0.64–1.92; p < 0.00001). Throwing velocity enhancement after RT was greater for women than for men, and for adults more than underage subjects. RT should last at least four weeks, with 2–3 sessions each week, and with any available implement.

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