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A Warm-Up Routine That Incorporates a Plyometric Protocol Potentiates the Force-Generating Capacity of the Quadriceps Muscles

Johnson, Mariska1; Baudin, Pierre1; Ley, Alejandro L.1,2; Collins, David F.1,2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 380–389
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002054
Original Research

Johnson, M, Baudin, P, Ley, AL, and Collins, DF. A warm-up routine that incorporates a plyometric protocol potentiates the force-generating capacity of the quadriceps muscles. J Strength Cond Res 33(2): 380–389, 2019—This study was designed to investigate whether a warm-up routine that incorporates drop jumps, induces post-activation potentiation (PAP), and if so, assess the magnitude and time course of the induced PAP. Participants performed a standard warm-up that incorporated either drop jumps (plyometric protocol) or a low-paced walk (control protocol). Post-activation potentiation was assessed by changes in electrically evoked isometric muscle twitches recorded throughout both protocols. The plyometric protocol increased peak twitch torque (PTT), rate of torque development (RTD), and impulse significantly (by 23, 39, and 46%, respectively) with no change in the amplitude of simultaneously evoked M-waves, indicating that the augmented torque was due to PAP. These increases returned to baseline within 6 minutes, and PTT and RTD fell below baseline values at 11–16 minutes after the drop jumps. Peak twitch torque, RTD, and impulse decreased significantly after the standard warm-up. These results provide evidence that drop jumps induce PAP, markedly enhancing the force-generating capacity of the muscle. By contrast, the standard warm-up did not potentiate, but rather reduced, the force-generating capacity of the muscle. We suggest that drop jumps be incorporated into warm-up routines directly before athletic performance to maximize the force-generating capacity of muscle.

1Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and

2Human Neurophysiology Laboratory, Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Address correspondence to David F. Collins, dave.collins@ualberta.ca.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.