Dynamic stretching exercises increase jumping ability

Warm-ups to Increase Vertical Leap

Article at a glance:

As any sportsman or woman knows, a proper warm-up is critical for maximum performance and for injury prevention. However, there exists some debate about exactly what constitutes the ideal warm-up, especially as evidence has emerged that static stretching offers little in the way of benefit as part of a pre-exercise routine. Instead, some researchers have instead been examining the potential benefits of a more dynamic warm-up.

As part of this trend, US researchers have carried out a study to investigate three different warm-up protocols on subsequent vertical and long jump performance. Sixteen female athletes participated in the study, which looked at the effects on jumping performance of one the following three warm-up protocols:

  • Low- to moderate-intensity stationary cycling, followed by four lower body static stretches (each performed three times and held for 20 seconds);
  • Twelve moderate to high-intensity dynamic exercises;
  • The same 12 dynamic exercises but this time with a weighted vest (10% of body mass) worn for the last four exercises.

The athletes participated in three testing sessions in random order on three non-consecutive days. Each session consisted of one of the warm-up protocols described above followed by an assessment of long and vertical jumping performance. The results showed that compared to the cycling/static stretching protocol, the vertical jumping performance was significantly greater (nearly 5% improved) following the dynamic exercises performed either with or without the weighted vest. In addition both of these dynamic warm-up protocols also produced significantly improved long jumping performance compared to cycling/static stretching, but in this instance, the weighted vest exercises were even more effective; the average jump distances for the cycling/static stretching, unweighted and weighted vest dynamic warm-up protocols were 177.2cms, 182.2cms and 186.8cms respectively.

The researchers concluded that; ‘warm-up protocols that include dynamic exercise may be a viable method of enhancing jumping performance in athletic women as compared to stationary cycling and static stretching.  In addition, it may be desirable for women athletes to perform dynamic excersies with a weighted vest on some movements prior to performance fo the long jump.

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