Fabricius (2011) Comparison of aquatic- and land-based plyometric training on power, speed and agility in adolescent rugby union players

Summary: Comparative Study of Aquatic and Land-Based Plyometric Training

Keyphrase: “Plyometric Training Effectiveness”


This study conducted by David Leslie Fabricius aimed to compare the effectiveness of aquatic and land-based plyometric training programs. The focus was on how these training methods affect sport-specific performance variables in adolescent male rugby union players. This research is crucial as it provides insights into the “Plyometric Training Effectiveness” in sports performance, particularly in young athletes​​.


The study involved 52 rugby players, aged around 16.3 years. These participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: aquatic, land, and control. Over a seven-week training period, their power, agility, and speed were assessed using various tests. These included Fitrodyne repeated countermovement jumps, the Sergeant vertical jump, the Illinois agility test, a standing broad jump, and 10- and 40-meter sprints. Notably, all groups continued their regular sports activities during this period​​.


Analysis of the results revealed no significant differences between the groups across all performance variables tested. However, within-group changes showed that the aquatic group significantly improved in the Illinois agility test. The land group exhibited significant enhancements in peak concentric power during Fitrodyne repeated countermovement jumps. All groups, including the control, displayed significant improvements in the Sergeant vertical jump. Interestingly, none of the groups showed improvements in sprint speed. The control group was unique in significantly improving the standing broad jump​​.


The study concludes that land-based plyometric training might offer superior benefits for athletes, especially in developing specific neuromuscular patterns and functional needs required in explosive sports. However, aquatic plyometrics also emerged as an effective training modality for enhancing performance in power-based sports like rugby union. It is suggested that aquatic-based plyometrics should not entirely replace land-based plyometrics due to potential limitations in developing certain sport-specific skills​​.

Keyphrase: Plyometric Training Effectiveness

Keywords: Water Plyometric Training, Power, Vertical Jump, Rugby Union​​

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