Effects of a five-week minimalist shoe plyometric training program on change-of-direction speed performance

This study showed that minimalist shoe training has the potential to improve change-of-direction speed performance following five weeks of plyometric training to a greater extent than a standard shod condition. This study investigated the effect of Vibram footwear, during a five-week training program on change-of-direction speed performance. Junior Australian Rules Footballers (n=20) were stratified into a Vibram shoe (n=9) and control shod group (n=11). Pre-post measurements of change-of-direction speed, extrinsic foot strength (plantar flexion) and intrinsic foot strength (greater toe flexion and lesser toe flexion) were examined. To determine the sensitivity of the effect, data were analysed using effect size (ES) statistics (90% CL) and percentage change. Vibram shoes provided a ‘likely beneficial’ improvement compared to control in the AFL agility test (-2.3% greater improvement, ES 0.38) including an ‘unclear’ enhancement in the agility T-test (-1.9%, ES 0.41), and a ‘possibly trivial’ change for the Pro agility shuttle (-0.1%, ES 0.01). Intrinsic foot strength showed an ‘unclear’ effect for both groups (greater toe flexion 8.3 ± 24.0%, ES:0.20 right and 19.2 ± 32.4%, ES:0.40 left lesser toe flexion 11.1 ± 30.4%, ES:0.20 right and 10.9 ± 36.1%, ES:0.23 left). Effects of the intervention on extrinsic foot strength were ‘unclear’ (plantar flexion -10.4 ± 18.5%, ES:0.43 right and -9.0 ± 13.1%, ES:0.29 left). Junior Australian Rules Footballers experienced ‘likely beneficial’ improvements with Vibram footwear for the AFL agility test greater than the control group. The effect of Vibram footwear on intrinsic and extrinsic foot strength was ‘unclear’ in the current cohort and warrants further investigation. These findings provide important information for coaches and athletes for the use of Vibram/minimalist footwear training for the improvement of sport-specific physical capacities with team-sport athletes.
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Subjects: sports game training shoe movement velocity training programme youth junior elite sport foot strength plyometrics American football
Notations: sport games junior sports
Tagging: Vibram Agilität
Published in: Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning
Published: 2018
Volume: 26
Issue: 7
Pages: 28-36
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: intermediate