The purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of stretching vs. potentiation on subsequent maximal force and rate of force development capabilities of subjects in an isometric squat. Ten male collegiate athletes participated as subjects in this study. Subjects were tested during 3 separate sessions that involved joint range of motion (ROM) measurements of the lower body and isometric squat trials on a force plate to determine peak force (PF) and rate of force development (RFD) values. One testing session was preceded by 10 minutes of quiet sitting (C), 1 by a 30-minute lower-body stretching protocol (S), and 1 by 3 sets of a leg press exercise using 90% of the subjects' previously determined 1 repetition maximum (P). Three repetitions were performed for each set of the leg press, with a 3-minute rest period between each set. PF during the isometric squat was not significantly different following any of the 3 conditions (C: 100.0 +/- 0.0%, S: 101.2 +/- 6.5%, P: 98.6 +/- 6.2%). However, RFD was significantly lower in P (87.5 +/- 12.8%) compared with both C (100.0 +/- 0.0%) and S (102.6 +/- 18.5%). Significant improvement in ROM occurred only following P. It appears the potentiation protocol used in the current investigation may actually have had fatiguing effects instead of potentiating effects, but it did result in significant increases in ROM.
(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association