OPTIMAL LOADING FOR LOWER BODY
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Muscular power during explosive activity can be enhanced when preceded by muscle contractions. These contractions would have different effects on explosive activity if performed at different intensities. The purpose of this study was to find an optimal intensity that would increase PAP in the lower limbs. Ten male participants (mean ± SD; age 20.0 ± 0.7 years, height 180.6 ± 6.7 cm, mass 83.3 ± 8.2 kg) performed a countermovement jump (CMJ) prior to and following a conditioning contraction (CC). The CC’s were either 65, 75, 85 or 95% of one repetition maximum (1RM), performed on separate days in a counterbalanced randomised order. A 5-min rest period was given between the CC and experimental CMJ. Displacement (Dmax), peak power (Pmax), peak force (Fmax), rate of force development (RFD), maximum velocity (Vmax) and electromyography (EMG) of the rectus femoris and vastus medialis were collected during each CMJ. Results showed a significant increase in Pmax after 85% of 1RM (3331 ± 558 and 3713 ± 505 W for pre- and post-CMJ, respectively; p < 0.05) and 95% of 1RM (3616 ± 655 and 3989 ± 672 W for pre- and post-CMJ, respectively; p < 0.05). No significant differences in Pmax were found for 65 and 75% of 1RM (p > 0.05). Also no significant differences were revealed in Dmax, Fmax, RFD and Vmax for 65, 75, 85 and 95% of 1RM (p > 0.05). EMG was not found to be significantly different after any of the CC’s (p > 0.05). It was concluded that heavier bouts of exercise (> 80% of 1RM) were adequate for enhancing explosive performances.
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