Problem Statement: The performance in Karate mainly depends on aerobic capacity but particularly on explosive muscular strength production. Plyometric training has been previously shown to increase power, strength, and explosive athletic ability. However, scarce data exist regarding the training-induced changes in power, muscle strength, and rate of force development (RFD) in Karate athletes after plyometric or Kumite training. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a 6-week plyometric training on maximum power, muscle strength, and RFD in young competitive Karate athletes. Methods: A total of 12 young competitive Karate athletes (N = 10 males and N = 2 females) were divided into plyometric (PG, N = 6) and Kumite (KG, N = 6)groups and followed 2 training sessions for 6 weeks of either plyometric or Kumite training. Measurements were performed before and after training intervention and included countermovement jumps (CMJ), maximum isometric RFD and peak torque (PT), standing long jump, and upper body seated medicine ball throws. Results: No significant differences were observed between groups for CMJ and RFD (p>0.05). Significant difference was determined between PG and KG in isometric PT (PG: 9.52 ± 3.64% vs. KG: 1.75 ± 6.91%, p = 0.03). Standing long jump performance considerably increased for PG compared to that for KG (PG: 4.32 ± 4.97% vs. KG: −1.12 ± 3.51%, p = 0.05). The performance in seated medicine ball throws increased overtime only in PG by 4.8 ± 3.55% (p = 0.017); however, no difference was observed between the groups (p>0.05). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that 6 weeks of specific plyometric training increases lower body power and strength as well as upper body power performance in young Karate athletes. Therefore, coaches may effectively use plyometric training to increase upper and lower body muscle power in young Karate athletes.
- Martial art
- Standing long jump