Lunging exercise potentiates a transient improvement in neuromuscular performance in young adults
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High-load resistance-based exercise is a common approach to facilitating improved neuromuscular performance via postactivation potentiation. Popular field-based warm-up activities, however, have been largely overlooked despite their specificity and practicality for sports performance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of repeated bouts of alternating lunges on neuromuscular performance determined by a maximal vertical jump (VJ). Forty-three healthy young adults (24 women and 19 men: age, 25.6 ± 4.4 years) participated in the study. Maximal VJ performance was quantified by jump height (in centimeters), relative impulse (in N·s·kg−1), flight time (in seconds), and normalized peak vertical ground reaction force (GRFz, bodyweight [BW]) at baseline and after each of 6 sets of 20 alternate split lunges. A rating of perceived exertion (1–10 scale) was recorded from participants before each VJ. Jump height was greater than baseline for the first 4 trials (3.1–3.8%, p ≤ 0.05), but no difference to baseline was observed on subsequent trials. Although there were no improvements for relative impulse over repeated trials, the sixth trial was significantly smaller than baseline (2.35 ± 0.38 vs. 2.26 ± 0.35 N·s·kg−1; p ≤ 0.001). Similarly, no improvements were observed for flight time, although the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth trials were reduced compared with baseline performance (p ≤ 0.01). No differences were observed for peak vertical GRFz (p > 0.05). In conclusion, a regimen of lunging exercise resulted in a transient improvement in maximal VJ performance. However, measures of flight time, impulse, and GRFz did not mirror the performance gain in jump height.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Copyright 2015 LWW. This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol. 29 (9), 2015, pp 2532–2537. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.
Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified