Heavy-resistance exercise-induced increases in jump performance are not explained by changes in neuromuscular function

Kevin Thomas, Alan Toward, Dan West, Glyn Howatson, Stuart Goodall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Post-activation potentiation (PAP) is the increased involuntary muscle twitch response to stimulation following strong contraction. The enhancement to whole-body explosive muscular performance (PE) after heavy-resistance exercise is often attributed to modulations in neuromuscular function that are proposed to reflect PAP, but the evidence to support this is equivocal. We assessed the neuromuscular basis of PE using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the primary motor cortex, and electrical stimulation of the femoral nerve. Eleven male athletes performed heavy-resistance exercise with measures of countermovement jump (CMJ) pre- and 8 min post-exercise. Pre-exercise and after the final CMJ, single- and paired-pulse TMS were delivered during submaximal isometric-knee-extensor contractions to measure corticospinal excitability, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF), with motor evoked potentials recorded from rectus femoris. Twitch responses to motor nerve stimulation during and post- maximum-knee-extensor contractions were studied to quantify voluntary activation (VA) and potentiated twitch (Qtw,pot). The experimental protocol successfully induced PE (+4±1% change in CMJ, P=0.01), but no changes were observed for maximum voluntary force, VA, corticospinal excitability, SICI or ICF (all P>0.05), and Qtw,pot declined (P
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports
Early online date6 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2015


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