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Effect of Ballistic Potentiation Protocols on Elite Sprint Swimming

Optimizing Performance

Waddingham, Daniel P.1; Millyard, Alison2; Patterson, Stephen D.1; Hill, Jessica1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 27, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003219
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Waddingham, DP, Millyard, A, Patterson, SD, and Hill, J. Effect of ballistic potentiation protocols on elite sprint swimming: optimizing performance. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—Warming-up before an athletic event is important for performance; however, in some competition scenarios, there is a long wait between completing the warm-up and the event. Thus, potentiation protocols are becoming increasingly popular in a competition environment. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of practical potentiation protocols on 15-m start performance in national level swimmers. Eleven national level swimmers participated in the study. Using a randomized cross-over design, subjects completed a 15-m swimming start following 4 different experimental conditions (swim-specific control, resisted band squat, weighted countermovement jumps, and drop jumps from a 45-cm box), each separated by at least 48 hours. A repeated-measures analysis of variance showed a significant difference in 15-m swimming start performance following different warm-up protocols (F(1.646, 14.810) = 6.968, p = 0.01). A post hoc Bonferroni test indicated that 15-m start time was significantly quicker with the band squat protocol compared with the swim-specific protocol (6.65 ± 0.43 vs. 6.78 ± 0.43 seconds, respectively, p = 0.04). The results conclude that practical potentiation protocols are able to enhance 15-m swim start performance when combined with a swim-specific warm-up and supports the use of postactivation potentiation during competitive swimming environments.

1Faculty of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, United Kingdom; and

2School of Sport, Health and Wellbeing, University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Jessica Hill, jessica.hill@stmarys.ac.uk.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.