The warm-up period prior to competition is often loosely and routinely completed with the dual purposes of preparing the body for more vigorous activity and decreasing the chance of soft tissue injury. The study described in the abstract below added a third dimension of possible performance enhancement by utilizing 3 depth jumps one minute after the dynamic stretching exercises to determine the immediate effect on 20-meter sprint performance.
The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether the addition of 3 depth jumps to a dynamic warm-up (DYNDJ) protocol would significantly improve 20-m sprint performance when compared with a cardiovascular (C) warm-up protocol or a dynamic (DYN) stretching protocol alone. The first part of the study identified optimal drop height for all subjects using the maximum jump height method. The identified optimal drop heights were later used during the DYNDJ protocol. The second part compared the 3 warm-up protocols above to determine their effect on 20-m sprint performance. Twenty-nine subjects (age, 20.8 6 4.4 years; weight, 82.6 6 9.9 kg; height, 180.3 6 6.2 cm) performed 3 protocols of a C protocol, a DYN protocol, and a DYNDJ protocol in a randomized order. A 20-m sprint was performed 1 minute after the completion of each of the 3 protocols. Results displayed significant differences between each of the 3 protocols. A significant improvement (p = 0.001) of 2.2% was obtained in sprint time between the C protocol (3.300 6 0.105 seconds) and the DYN protocol (3.227 6 0.116 seconds), a further significant improvement of 5.01% was attained between the C and the DYNDJ protocols (3.300 6 0.10 vs. 3.132 6 0.120 seconds; p = 0.001). In addition, a significant improvement (p = 0.001) of 2.93% was observed between the DYN protocol (3.227 6 0.116 seconds) and the DYNDJ protocol (3.132 6 0.116 seconds). The data from this study advocate the use of DYNDJ protocol as a means of significantly improving 20-m sprint performance 1 minute after the DYNDJ protocol.
Warm-up programs just prior to competition or testing in a 20-yard or 40-yard dash may favorably improve sprint performance when a different, unique exercise, such as depth jumps, are used. Other studies have observed improved sprint times when immediately preceded by a short session of sprint-assisted and sprint-resisted training.
This study also provides a reminder that the warm-up period prior each workout session offers the opportunity to meet multiple training objectives: core temperature elevation, dynamic stretching of key areas involved in the sprinting action, sprint form and technique improvement, and improved sprint performance. The NASE 5-Step Model utilizes a warm-up session with dynamic stretching exercises that also improve sprinting form and technique. This approach saves valuable coaching time, especially during the in-season period, and provides daily devotion to critical areas that often are neglected in team sports.
Byrne, PJ, Kenny, J, and O’ Rourke, B. Acute potentiating effect of depth jumps on sprint performance. J Strength Cond Res 28 (3): 610–615, 2014