Validation of jump squats as a practical measure of post-activation potentiation
NRC Research Press
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences/Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
To determine if post-activation potentiation (PAP) can augment sports performance, it is pertinent that researchers be confident that any enhancement in performance is attributable to the PAP phenomenon. However, obtaining mechanistic measures of PAP in the daily training environment of highly trained athletes is impractical. We sought to validate jump squats as a practical measure with ecological validity to sports performance against a mechanistic measure of PAP. We assessed the evoked muscle twitch properties of the knee extensors and jump squat kinetics of 8 physically trained males in response to a 5-repetition-maximum back squat conditioning stimulus (CS). Evoked muscle twitch, followed by 3 jump squats, was assessed before and at 4, 8, and 12 min post CS. Time intervals were assessed on separate occasions using a Latin square design. Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between post–pre changes in kinetic variables and muscle twitch peak force (Ft) and twitch rate of force development (RFDt). Large correlations were observed for both concentric relative and absolute mean power and Ft (r = 0.50 ± 0.30) and RFDt (r = 0.56 ± 0.27 and r = 0.58 ± 0.26). Concentric rate of force development (RFD) showed moderate correlations with Ft (r = 0.45 ± 0.33) and RFDt (r = 0.49 ± 0.32). Small-to-moderate correlations were observed for a number of kinetic variables (r = −0.42–0.43 ± 0.32–0.38). Jump squat concentric mean power and RFD are valid ecological measures of muscle potentiation, capable of detecting changes in athletic performance in response to the PAP phenomenon.