Athletes who practiced jump training in water significantly improved jump height and peak power without increased injury risk, according to findings published in PLOS One (2018; 13 [12], e0208439). Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney compared athletes who performed jump training in water 1.2 meters (3 feet 11 inches) deep with athletes who followed their regular sports training—without added jump training—on land. Both groups trained three times a week for 8 weeks. The study’s authors collected data from all subjects on vertical stiffness, jump height and athletic performance before and after the intervention.

Data analysis showed that those who participated in aquatic training improved jump height, peak power, agility and bounding performance without any increase in lower-limb stiffness. Control group members showed no significant changes. The study authors recommend plyometric aquatic training for athletes to improve performance while minimizing injury risk.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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