Effects of 16 weeks of Unilateral or Bilateral Resistance Training with Varying Movement Velocity on Measures of Power and Performance in Elite Women’s Handball Players
Background. Handball is a fast paced sport, with high velocity movements performed in apredominantly unilateral plane. In order to make training as specific as possible to on court movements, resistance training programmes should involve exercises that reflect the speed and stance of how they will be performed during gameplay however, working velocities are rarely prescribed due to the lack of research in the area. Aim. The aim of this study was (1) to determine the effect of three different training modes; unilateral high velocity (UHV), bilateral high velocity (BHV) and bilateral slow velocity (BSV) on vertical loaded and unloaded jumps, sprint, agility and balance. (2) To determine if any of these interventions had more of an effect when compared to each other. Methods. 29 women from four teams in the Swedish Elitserien participated in a 16-week intervention study. Teams were assigned to either UHV, who performed unilateral exercises with a high intended movement velocity, BHV, bilateral exercises at a high intended movement velocity, or BSV, who continued their regular bilateral slow velocity training. Power was assessed pre- and post-intervention by loaded vertical squat jump and countermovement jump (CMJ) both unilaterally and bilaterally. Performance assessments were conducted through 20m Sprints, agility T-test and Y-balance test. Effect sizes were calculated to determine the magnitude of differences from pre- to post-intervention in three training modes. One-way ANOVA determined if the group interactions were significant. Results. All three training modes increased their power output to varying levels and effect sizes.The UHV group demonstrated large effect sizes for all improvements in power output, whilst the BHV and BSV groups ranged from trivial to large. UHV got significantly faster at reaching time to peak velocity in unilateral and bilateral measures compared to both BHV and BSV (p=<0.05). Conclusion. The results suggest that a 16-week resistance training intervention regardless ofstance improves power however to varying magnitudes. The high velocity groups showed greater improvements in measures of power and performance. This study suggests that resistance training at a high intended movement velocity may be beneficial for improving power and performance in elite women’s handball players.
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