A POST ACTIVATION POTENTIATION STUDY: THE ACUTE EFFECT OF A HEAVY RESISTANCE ROMANIAN DEAD LIFT AND A RESISTED SPRINT PULL UPON 30 METRE SPRINT PERFORMANCES IN SPRINTERS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Post activation potentiation (PAP) increases levels of muscle twitch force and synaptic activity through prior voluntary maximal muscle contractions (Folland et al., 2008). Performing muscle contractions with near maximal loads prior to an explosive movement of similar biomechanical properties improves subsequent peak force production and rate of force development (Hodgson et al., 2005; Lim and Kong, 2013). Sprint performance is a direct result of impulse (mean force x contact time) thus coaches have strived to improve the strength and power profiles of athletes (Alcaraz et al., 2009). The aim of this study is to investigate whether performing a heavy resistance Romanian dead lift (RDL) would improve 30 metre sprint times and whether a resisted sprint pull would improve 30 metre sprint times and stride length. 4 male university level sprint athletes (21±1.6 years of age) completed three separate sprint trial tests on separate weeks. Randomised protocol consisted of a baseline maximal 30 metre sprint, 15 minutes rest, a control (active rest), RDL (3x1 at 80% 1RM) or resisted sprint pull (2x30 metre weighted sled pull) intervention, 7 minutes rest, then a maximal 30 metre sprint. Individual athlete response was analysed, considering individual responses to PAP. A RDL did not significantly improve sprint times, although improved 10- 20- and 30 metre times were observed and mean stride length significantly improved. Results from the RDL intervention presented evidence that potentiation is dependent upon strength levels. The resisted sprint pull did not significantly improve sprint times, although improved sprint times were observed and stride length and stride frequency significantly improved. The results present evidence that a RDL and resisted sprint pull are both effective at significantly improving sprint technique. Through an improved protocol the results suggest the potential for both exercises to be successful at significantly improving sprint times as part of PAP protocol in future research.
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