Post-activation potentiation of sprint acceleration performance using plyometric exercise

Anthony Turner, Sam Bellhouse, Liam Kilduff, Mark Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Post-activation potentiation (PAP), an acute and temporary enhancement of muscular performance resulting from prior muscular contraction, commonly occurs after heavy resistance exercise. However, this method of inducing PAP has limited application to the pre-competition practices (e.g., warm-up) of many athletes. Very few studies have examined the influence of plyometric activity on subsequent performance; therefore, we aimed to examine the influence of alternate-leg bounding on sprint acceleration performance. In a randomized crossover manner, plyometric-trained males (n=23) performed seven 20 m sprints (with 10 m splits) at baseline, ~15 s, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 min after a walking control (C) or 3 sets of 10 repetitions of alternate-leg bounding using body mass (P) and body mass plus 10% (WP). Mean sprint velocities over 10 and 20 m were similar between trials at baseline. At ~15 s, WP impaired 20 m sprint velocity by 1.4 +/- 2.5% when compared to C (P = 0.039). Thereafter, 10 and 20 m sprint velocities improved in WP at 4 (10 m: 2.2 +/- 3.1%, P = 0.009; 20 m: 2.3 +/- 2.6%, P = 0.001) and 8 min (10 m: 2.9 +/- 3.6%, P = 0.002; 20 m: 2.6 +/- 2.8%, P = 0.001) compared to C. Improved 10 m sprint acceleration performance occurred in P at 4 min (1.8 +/- 3.3%, P = 0.047) relative to C. Therefore, sprint acceleration performance is enhanced after plyometric exercise providing adequate recovery is given between these activities; however, the effects may differ according to whether additional load is applied. This finding presents a practical method to enhance the pre-competition practices of athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-350
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


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