Background: Jump training (JT) can be used to enhance the ability of skeletal muscle to exert maximal force in as short a time as possible. Despite its usefulness as a method of performance enhancement in athletes, only a small number of studies have investigated its effects on muscle power in older adults.
Objectives: The objectives of this meta-analysis were to measure the effect of JT on muscular power in older adults (≥50 years), and to establish appropriate programming guidelines for this population.
Data sources: The data sources utilised were Google Scholar, PubMed, Microsoft Academic.
Study eligibility criteria: Studies were eligible for inclusion if they comprised JT interventions in healthy adults (≥50 years) who were free of any medical condition which could impair movement.
Study appraisal and synthesis methods: The inverse-variance random effects model for meta-analyses was used because it allocates a proportionate weight to trials based on the size of their individual standard errors and facilitates analysis whilst accounting for heterogeneity across studies. Effect sizes, calculated from a measure of muscular power, were represented by the standardised mean difference and presented alongside 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: Thirteen training groups across nine studies were included in this meta-analysis. The magnitude of the main effect was ‘moderate’ (0.66, 95% confidence interval: 0.33, 0.98). Effect sizes [ES] were larger in non-obese participants (body mass index [BMI] < vs. ≥30 kg.m-2; 1.03 [95% CI: 0.34, 1.73] vs. 0.53 [95% CI: -0.03, 1.09]). Among the studies included in this review, just one reported an acute injury, which did not result in the participant ceasing their involvement. JT was more effective in programmes with more than one exercise (range: 1-4 exercises; ES =0.74 [95% CI: -0.49, 1.96] vs. 0.53 [95% CI: 0.29, 0.78]), more than two sets per exercise (range: 1-4 sets; ES =0.91 [95% CI: 0.04, 1.77] vs. 0.68 [95% CI: 0.15, 1.21]), more than three jumps per set (range 1-14 jumps; ES = 1.02 [95% CI: 0.16, 1.87] vs. 0.53 [95% CI: -0.03, 1.09]) and more than 25 jumps per session (range 6-200 jumps; ES = 0.88 [95% CI: 0.05, 1.70] vs. 0.49 [95% CI: 0.14, 0.83]).
Conclusions: JT is safe and effective in older adults. Practitioners should construct varied JT programmes that include more than one exercise and comprise more than two sets per exercise, more than three jumps per set and 60 seconds of recovery between sets. An upper limit of three sets per exercise and ten jumps per set is recommended. Up to three training sessions per week can be performed.
· Jump training is a safe and effective way of increasing muscular power in older adults.
· Jump training seems to be more effective in non-obese individuals.
· Practitioners should construct varied jump training programmes that include more than one exercise and comprise more than two sets per exercise, more than three jumps per set and 60 seconds of recovery between sets. An upper limit of three sets per exercise and ten jumps per set is recommended. Up to three training sessions per week can be performed.