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Abstract

Some athletes use solid rubber platforms strapped onto the forefoot during plyometric exercises in order to increase their explosive performance including vertical jump height and agility. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a plyometric training program realized with these ‘raised forefoot platforms’, designed to keep the heels off the ground, to the same program conducted with regular shoes. Forty-nine subjects performed 2 sessions of plyometric training for 8 weeks, either with raised forefoot platforms (n=20) or regular shoes (n=29). Countermovement jump (CMJ) height and agility test time were evaluated at pre-, mid- and post-training program. Compared to baseline values, 4 and 8 weeks of plyometric training significantly increased CMJ and agility performances in the raised forefoot platforms and regular shoes groups. However, compared to regular shoes, wearing raised forefoot platforms during training induced significantly better performances in CMJ at week 4 (+4.4cm) and week 8 (+7.2cm) and in agility at week 8 (-0.466s). Thus, while an 8-week plyometric training program was effective at improving both CMJ and agility performance for both shoe conditions, the improvements were greater for the group wearing raised forefoot platforms.

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