Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2014 ) 13 , 105 - 113

Research article
Effects of Baseline Levels of Flexibility and Vertical Jump Ability on Performance Following Different Volumes of Static Stretching and Potentiating Exercises in Elite Gymnasts
Olyvia Donti, Charilaos Tsolakis, Gregory C. Bogdanis 
Author Information
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Greece

Gregory C. Bogdanis
✉ Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, 41 Ethnikis Antistasis Str, Daphne, 17237, Athens, Greece
Email: gbogdanis@phed.uoa.gr
Publish Date
Received: 31-07-2013
Accepted: 02-10-2013
Published (online): 20-01-2014
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ABSTRACT

This study examined the effects of baseline flexibility and vertical jump ability on straight leg raise range of motion (ROM) and counter-movement jump performance (CMJ) following different volumes of stretching and potentiating exercises. ROM and CMJ were measured after two different warm-up protocols involving static stretching and potentiating exercises. Three groups of elite athletes (10 male, 14 female artistic gymnasts and 10 female rhythmic gymnasts) varying greatly in ROM and CMJ, performed two warm-up routines. One warm-up included short (15 s) static stretching followed by 5 tuck jumps, while the other included long static stretching (30 s) followed by 3x5 tuck jumps. ROM and CMJ were measured before, during and for 12 min after the two warm-up routines. Three-way ANOVA showed large differences between the three groups in baseline ROM and CMJ performance. A type of warm-up x time interaction was found for both ROM (p = 0.031) and CMJ (p = 0.016). However, all athletes, irrespective of group, responded in a similar fashion to the different warm-up protocols for both ROM and CMJ, as indicated from the lack of significant interactions for group (condition x group, time x group or condition x time x group). In the short warm-up protocol, ROM was not affected by stretching, while in the long warm-up protocol ROM increased by 5.9% ± 0.7% (p = 0.001) after stretching. Similarly, CMJ remained unchanged after the short warm-up protocol, but increased by 4.6 ± 0.9% (p = 0.012) 4 min after the long warm- up protocol, despite the increased ROM. It is concluded that the initial levels of flexibility and CMJ performance do not alter the responses of elite gymnasts to warm-up protocols differing in stretching and potentiating exercise volumes. Furthermore, 3 sets of 5 tuck jumps result in a relatively large increase in CMJ performance despite an increase in flexibility in these highly-trained athletes.

Key words: Gymnastics, countermovement jump, stretching, post- activation potentiation


           Key Points
  • The initial levels of flexibility and vertical jump ability have no effect on straight leg raise range of motion (ROM) and counter-movement jump performance (CMJ) of elite gymnasts following warm-up protocols differing in stretching and potentiating exercise volumes
  • Stretching of the main leg muscle groups for only 15 s has no effect on ROM of elite gymnasts
  • In these highly-trained athletes, one set of 5 tuck jumps during warm-up is not adequate to increase CMJ performance, while 3 sets of 5 tuck jumps result in a relatively large increase in CMJ performance (by 4.6% above baseline), despite a 5.9% increase in flexibility due to the 30 s stretching exercises
 
 
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