Factors Modulating Post-Activation Potentiation and its Effect on Performance of Subsequent Explosive Activities

School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, the University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.04). 02/2009; 39(2):147-66. DOI: 10.2165/00007256-200939020-00004
Source: PubMed


Post-activation potentiation (PAP) is induced by a voluntary conditioning contraction (CC), performed typically at a maximal or near-maximal intensity, and has consistently been shown to increase both peak force and rate of force development during subsequent twitch contractions. The proposed mechanisms underlying PAP are associated with phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chains, increased recruitment of higher order motor units, and a possible change in pennation angle. If PAP could be induced by a CC in humans, and utilized during a subsequent explosive activity (e.g. jump or sprint), it could potentially enhance mechanical power and thus performance and/or the training stimulus of that activity. However, the CC might also induce fatigue, and it is the balance between PAP and fatigue that will determine the net effect on performance of a subsequent explosive activity. The PAP-fatigue relationship is affected by several variables including CC volume and intensity, recovery period following the CC, type of CC, type of subsequent activity, and subject characteristics. These variables have not been standardized across past research, and as a result, evidence of the effects of CC on performance of subsequent explosive activities is equivocal. In order to better inform and direct future research on this topic, this article will highlight and discuss the key variables that may be responsible for the contrasting results observed in the current literature. Future research should aim to better understand the effect of different conditions on the interaction between PAP and fatigue, with an aim of establishing the specific application (if any) of PAP to sport.

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Available from: David John Bishop, Aug 05, 2014
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    • "Specifically, it is debatable how many cumulative exercise sets per load should be accomplished to accurately determine the OL, with numbers from 1 to 3 sets previously reported (Izquierdo et al., 2002; Lawton et al., 2006; Limonta and Sacchi, 2010; Marques et al., 2007; Sánchez-Medina et al., 2010; Thomas et al., 2007; Jandacka and Uchytil, 2011). Earlier research has described the effect of preceding muscular activity on subsequent neuromuscular performance (Tillin and Bishop, 2009; Froyd et al., 2013; Wilson et al., 2013) as improvements in actions such as throwing, jumping, or hitting a mobile object (Gossen and Sale, 2000; Sale, 2002). Potential physiological mechanisms include increment in the number of "
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    • "Insufficient stability during this phase will dampen the resultant energy transfer during the spring recoil phase and diminish flight time (Farquharson 2012). Though literature suggests the contents of a warm-up can potentially evoke greater contractile responses for muscle contraction, we are unaware of any studies having examined the specific effects of warm-up on trampoline flight time (Tillin and Bishop 2009). A 'traditional' trampoline warm-up is comprised of a sub-maximal aerobic component followed by a bout of static stretching. "
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    • "J Electromyogr Kinesiol (2014), myosin light chains, as well as a recruitment of larger motor units, that lead to increased tetanic force production (Tillin and Bishop, 2009). Sale (2004) found that PAP has the greatest effect when the type of task being performed requires smaller motor units, such as those that would be found in the forearm and used during this handgrip task. "
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