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Low Load Exercises Targeting the Gluteal Muscle Group Acutely Enhance Explosive Power Output in Elite Athletes

Crow, Justin F1; Buttifant, David2; Kearny, Simon G3; Hrysomallis, Con4

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - pp 438-442
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318220dfab
Original Research

Crow, JF, Buttifant, D, Kearny, SG, and Hrysomallis, C. Low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscle group acutely enhance explosive power output in elite athletes. J Strength Cond Res 26(2): 438–442, 2012—The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of 3 warm-up protocols on peak power production during countermovement jump (CMJ) testing. The intention was to devise and compare practical protocols that could be applied as a warm-up immediately before competition matches or weight training sessions. A group of 22 elite Australian Rules Football players performed 3 different warm-up protocols over 3 testing sessions in a randomized order. The protocols included a series of low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscle group (GM-P), a whole-body vibration (WBV) protocol (WBV-P) wherein the subjects stood on a platform vibrating at 30 Hz for 45 seconds, and a no-warm-up condition (CON). The CMJ testing was performed within 5 minutes of each warm-up protocol on an unloaded Smith machine using a linear encoder to measure peak power output. Peak power production was significantly greater after the GM-P than after both the CON (p < 0.05) and WBV-P (p < 0.01). No significant differences in peak power production were detected between the WBV-P and CON. These results have demonstrated that a low load exercise protocol targeting the gluteal muscle group is effective at acutely enhancing peak power output in elite athletes. The mechanisms for the observed improvements are unclear and warrant further investigation. Coaches may consider incorporating low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscle group into the warm-up of athletes competing in sports requiring explosive power output of the lower limbs.

1School of Physiotherapy, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; 2Sport Science Department, Collingwood Football Club, Melbourne, Australia; 3Sport Science Department, Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, Melbourne, Australia; and 4School of Sport and Exercise Science, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Address correspondence to Justin F. Crow,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association