Postactivation potentiation during voluntary contractions after continued knee extensor task-specific practice
National Research Council of Canada
Center for Exercise and Sports Science Research
The purposes of this study were to determine whether performing dynamic conditioning activities (CAs) contributes to postactivation potentiation (PAP); to examine the potential confounding effects of CAs with different velocity, total contraction duration, and total work characteristics; and to gain a greater understanding of potential peripheral and central mechanisms underlying PAP. Voluntary (isokinetic knee extensions at 180°·s−1) and electrically evoked torques and electromyogram (EMG) data were captured before and 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13 min after 5 different dynamic CAs (4 knee extensions at 60°·s−1, 4 and 12 at 180°·s−1, and 4 and 20 at 300°·s−1), after the participants had completed a full warm-up including extensive task-specific practice to the point where maximal voluntary contractile capacity was achieved. Even after maximal voluntary contractile capacity had been achieved, the imposition of CAs of longer total contraction duration (6 s) and a minimum total work of ~750-900 J elicited significant increases in both voluntary (for 7 min; up to 5.9%) and twitch (for 4 min; up to 13.5%) torques (i.e., PAP), regardless of the velocity of the CA. No changes in EMG:M-wave were detected after any CA. A dynamic voluntary CA can contribute to improved voluntary and electrically evoked torques even when maximal voluntary contractile capacity has previously been achieved. Furthermore, a minimum CA contraction duration and minimum total work appear important to increase torque production, although movement velocity appears unimportant. Changes in peripheral function but not central drive may have contributed to the observed PAP under the present conditions.