The Effect of a Short Practical Warm-up Protocol on Repeated Sprint Performance

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Taylor, JM, Weston, M, and Portas, MD. The effect of a short practical warm-up protocol on repeated sprint performance. J Strength Cond Res 27(7): 2034–2038, 2013—The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of a short, practical, 2-phase warm-up on repeated sprint performance when compared with more traditional warm-up protocols that contain stretching activities. Eleven subelite male soccer players completed a warm-up protocol that commenced with 5 minutes jogging at approximately 65% of maximal heart rate, followed by no stretching, static stretching, or dynamic stretching and finishing with a task-specific high-intensity activity. Using a crossover design, the 3 warm-up protocols were performed in a counterbalanced order with at least 48 hours between sessions. Repeated sprint performance was measured using a repeated sprint test that consisted of 6 × 40-m maximal sprints interspersed with a 20-second recovery. There were trivial differences in mean sprint time (0.2%) and posttest blood lactate (3.1%) between the 2-phase warm-up and the 3-phase warm-up that included dynamic stretching, whereas the short warm-up had a possibly detrimental effect on fastest sprint time (0.7%). Fastest (−1.1%) and mean (−1.2%) sprint times were quicker and posttest blood lactates were higher (13.2%) after the 2-phase warm-up when compared with the 3-phase warm-up that included static stretching. Although it is not harmful to complete a traditional 3-phase warm-up that includes dynamic stretching, it appears practical for athletes preparing for activities dependent on repeated sprint ability to complete a 2-phase warm-up consisting of a cardiovascular and specific high-intensity activity.

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