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Effect of Different Types of Conditioning Contraction on Upper Body Postactivation Potentiation

Esformes, Joseph I1; Keenan, Matthew1; Moody, Jeremy1; Bampouras, Theodoros M2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 143-148
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fef7f3
Original Research

Esformes, JI, Keenan, M, Moody, J, and Bampouras, TM. Effect of different types of conditioning contraction on upper body postactivation potentiation. J Strength Cond Res 25(X): 000-000, 2011-Muscle contractions preceding an activity can result in increased force generation (postactivation potentiation [PAP]). Although the type of muscular contractions could affect subsequent strength and power performance, little information exists on their effects. The purpose of this study was to examine PAP effects produced by isometric (ISO), concentric (CON), eccentric (ECC), or concentric-eccentric (DYN) conditioning contractions on upper body force and power performance. Ten male, competitive rugby players (mean ± SD: age 20.4 ± 0.8 years, height 177.0 ± 8.1 cm, body mass 90.2 ± 13.8 kg) performed a ballistic bench press throw (BBPT) followed by a 10-minute rest and one of the conditioning contractions. After a 12-minute rest, the subjects performed another BBPT (post-BBPT). The conditioning contractions, applied on separate days and in counterbalanced randomized order, were a 7-second isometric barbell bench press for ISO and 1 set of 3 bench press repetitions at 3 repetition maximum for CON, ECC, and DYN (each repetition lasting 2 seconds for CON and ECC, overall execution time <7 seconds for DYN). Peak power (P peak), peak force (F peak), maximum distance (D max) and rate of force development (RFD) were measured using a linear position transducer. Electromyography (EMG) of the pectoralis major and triceps brachii was also recorded. The ISO produced significantly higher P peak (587 ± 116 and 605 ± 126 W for pre- and post-BBPT, respectively; p < 0.05). No significant differences in P peak were revealed for CON, ECC, and DYN (p > 0.05), and no significant differences existed in F peak, D max, and RFD for ISO, CON, ECC, and DYN (p > 0.05). Finally, EMG was not significantly different between pre- and post-BBPT for any of the conditioning contractions (p > 0.05). Isometric contractions appear to be the only conditioning contractions increasing upper body power output after long resting periods.

1Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Cardiff, United Kingdom; and 2Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Human Performance Laboratory, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Dr. Joseph I. Esformes,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association