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
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 577 - 583

Research article
Influence of Type of Muscle Contraction and Gender on Postactivation Potentiation of Upper and Lower Limb Explosive Performance in Elite Fencers
Charilaos Tsolakis, Gregory C. Bogdanis , Anni Nikolaou, Elias Zacharogiannis
Author Information
Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Greece

Gregory C. Bogdanis
‚úČ Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, 41 Ethnikis Antistasis Str, Daphne, 17237, Athens, Greece.
Publish Date
Received: 28-05-2011
Accepted: 01-08-2011
Published (online): 01-09-2011
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the postactivation potentiation (PAP) effect of isometric and plyometric contractions on explosive performance of the upper and the lower limbs in male and female elite athletes. Thirteen male and ten female international level fencers performed four protocols of either isometric (3 sets of 3 sec) or plyometric (3 sets of 5 repetitions) bench and leg press, in a within subject randomized design. Before and immediately after the PAP treatment and following 4, 8, 12 min, explosive performance was measured by performing a countermovement jump (CMJ) or a bench press throw. Statistical analysis revealed significant time effect for peak leg power during the CMJ (p < 0.001) only for men, with values after the isometric PAP treatment being lower than baseline at the 8 and 12 min time points (by 7.5% (CI95% = 3.9-11.2%) and 8.7% (CI95% = 6.0-11.5%, respectively), while after the plyometric PAP treatment peak leg power remained unchanged. A significant negative correlation was found between leg strength (as expressed by 1-RM leg press performance) and the change in peak leg power between baseline and after 12 min of recovery only in male fencers (r = -0.55, p < 0.05), suggesting that stronger individuals may show a greater decrease in peak leg power. Based on the above results we conclude that lower body power performance in international level fencers may be negatively affected after isometric contractions and thus they should be advised against using isometric exercises to induce PAP with the protocol prescribed in the present study. Furthermore, gender and strength level must be considered in the practical application of PAP.

Key words: Warm- up, vertical jump, bench-press, fatigue, isometric, plyometric.

           Key Points
  • Significantly lower values for peak power of the legs were noted in men at 8 and 12 min of recovery in response to the PAP protocol used in this study
  • There is some evidence to suggest that stronger individuals may have a greater and longer lasting fatigue that may actually result in a decrease rather than increase of performance after a PAP protocol
  • Fencers should be advised to avoid the use of isometric exercises in warm-up routines to augment explosive performance
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