Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Health Science

Committee Chair(s)

Brennan Thompson


Brennan Thompson


Talin Louder


Eadric Bressel


Although there is a growing body of knowledge on eccentric resistance training and aquatic plyometric training on muscle function measures alone, no research to date has investigated the effects of a mixed training model. Aquatic plyometrics and overload eccentric training are two different training models which could work synergistically because the shortcomings of one model are the virtues of the other (i.e., plyometrics are not as effective at producing large muscle size and strength gains and eccentric-only training largely lacks the functional SSC component). The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the effects of a combined eccentric overload and aquatic-based plyometric training program on muscle function, sport-specific performance measures, and soreness versus an eccentric-only training protocol. Twenty-five participants were randomized into either an eccentric-only training group (ECC) or a combined eccentric and aquatic plyometric group (AQP) and participated in a 6-week training intervention. The ECC group performed eccentric training on a motor-driven isokinetic dynamometer (Eccentron) once a week for 3 minutes while the AQP group performed the same eccentric training once a week with an additional aquatic plyometric training session. Isokinetic eccentric strength, isometric strength, depth jump height, countermovement jump height, and sprint time were taken pre and post training. Muscle soreness was taken weekly throughout the training. There was no significant group × trial interactions for any of the variables indicating that combined eccentric and aquatic plyometric training did not increase muscle function measures more than eccentric training alone. The training elicited a significantly large improvement in isokinetic eccentric strength in both ECC (27%; ES = 1.33) and AQP (17%; ES = .86) groups. Isometric strength improved moderately for ECC and AQP groups (17.2%, ES = .53; 9%, ES = .45). A moderate effect was observed for depth jump height improvement for both ECC and AQP groups (13.1%, ES = .48; 8.8%, ES = .36). No significant changes were observed for countermovement jump or sprint time. However a moderate, though not significant, effect was found for 5-m sprint time in the ECC group (ES = .52). Muscle soreness did not significantly differ between groups but was considerably less than previous studies (8-10 mm vs. 20-30 mm). In conclusion, minimal dose multi-joint eccentric overload training significantly improved maximal eccentric strength, isometric peak force, and depth jump height after 6 weeks regardless of the training condition (ECC vs. AQP).