Acute effects of combined isometric and plyometric conditioning activities on sports performance and tendon stiffness in female volleyball players
Authors: Rafal Kalinowski 1, Anna Pisz 2, Dominik Kolinger 2, Michal Wilk 2, 3, Petr Stastny 2, Michal Krzysztofik 2, 3
- Department of Exercise and Sport Performance, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland
- Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czechia
- Institute of Sport Sciences, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland
Journal: Frontiers in Physiology - October 2022, Volume 13, Article no. 1025839 (DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2022.1025839)
This study aimed to compare the effects of bilateral and unilateral conditioning activities (CA; combined isometric and plyometric) on countermovement jump performance, modified t-agility test, Achilles tendon stiffness and skin surface temperature.
Thirteen female semi-professional volleyball players performed two CAs in random order: 1) bilateral isometric half back squats followed by bilateral drop jumps (BI-CA); and 2) unilateral isometric half back squats followed by unilateral drop jumps (UNI-CA). To assess the effects of CAs, countermovement jump, modified t-agility test, Achilles tendon stiffness and skin surface temperature measurements were performed 5 min before and 6 min after the CA.
Both CAs significantly increased thigh skin surface temperature from pre- to post-CA (BI-CA, p < 0.001; effect size [ES] = 1.41 and UNI-CA, p = 0.001; ES = 1.39) but none of them influenced modified t-agility test time (interaction: p = 0.338, main effect of time: p = 0.121 and condition: p = 0.819). The countermovement jump height and modified reactive strength index significantly increased from pre-to post-CA during the BI-CA condition (p = 0.003, ES = 0.45, and p = 0.008, ES = 0.48) but not for UNI-CA (p = 0.061, ES = 0.18 and p = 0.065, ES = 0.26). No significant impact has been found for countermovement depth (interaction: p = 0.054, main effect of time: 0.097, and condition: p = 0.41) as well as for contraction time (interaction: p = 0.536, main effect of time: p = 0.224, and condition: p = 0.807). Moreover, stronger and weaker limb CMJ relative peak force significantly decreased from pre-to post-CA (p = 0.014, ES = −0.31, and p = 0.027, ES = −0.26; respectively) during UNI-CA condition but not for BI-CA (p = 0.096, ES = 0.23, and p = 1.41, ES = 0.18). The stronger and weaker limb Achilles tendon stiffness significantly increased from pre-to post-CA during the UNI-CA condition (p = 0.013, ES = 0.60 and p < 0.001, ES = 0.79; respectively) but not for BI-CA (p = 0.66; ES = 0.15 and p = 0.265; ES = 0.42). Furthermore, the post-CA stronger limb Achilles tendon stiffness during the UNI-CA was significantly higher than that noted during the BI-CA (p = 0.006, ES = 0.7).
The present study showed that combined isometric and plyometric bilateral CA effectively improved the countermovement jump but did not enhance the t-agility test performance. These findings indicate that exercise combinations could effectively produce a post-activation performance enhancement effect but should replicate the following explosive task as much as possible.
Keywords: post-activation performance enhancement, post-activation potentiation, athletic performance, resistance training, skin surface temperature, myotonometry, change of direction, countermovement jump (CMJ)
The present study showed that combined isometric and plyometric bilateral CA effectively improved the CMJ but did not enhance the t-agility test performance. These findings indicate that exercise combinations could be effectively used to produce a PAPE effect but should replicate the following explosive task as much as possible. These findings offer important new insights into using PAPE protocols in the practical field and indicate the need to test different combinations of exercises as CA to improve the following complex athletic tasks.