Investigation of plyometric and endurance training on athletic performance in female elite rowers

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of sport physiology, Faculty of physical education and sport sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Sport physiology Department, Physical education and sport sciences Faculty, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Background: Plyometric training is defined as a quick, powerful movement involving a system of reactive exercises and an eccentric contraction, followed immediately by an explosive concentric contraction.
Aim: This study aimed to determine the effect of plyometric and aerobic training on peak power and performance in female elite rowers.
Materials and Methods: Sixteen female elite rowers with a minimum of 1 year’s competitive rowing experience were recruited to perform six weeks of plyometric or cycling endurance training for 30 min before practice on the water three days per week. Rowing performance was assessed through a 500-m rowing time trial (TT), while peak rowing power (PR) was evaluated by over three maximal trials of 15 s on the rowing ergometer. The recorded value for peak power was the highest wattage observed during the 15-s period. All statistics were performed using commercially available software (SPSS v. 23, Armonk, NY). Pre-planned t-test comparisons were used to determine significance at baseline in changes within both groups.
Results: The results showed 500-m TT performance significantly improved for the plyometric group (P< 0.05) but not for the endurance group (P> 0.05). Moreover, PR was considerably higher in the plyometric group in post-test than endurance training.
Conclusion: These results suggest that plyometric can improve rowing performance in female elite rowers, and rowing coaches should continue using this form of training. Coaches can perform plyometrics in conjunction with other strength training methods or as a warm-up before beginning rowing-specific training.