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The impact of warm up intensity and duration on sprint performance
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A traditional warm-up (WU) for track sprinters usually includes a general WU, a series of mobility drills and some short sprint strides lasting 30-60 min in total. A WU of this duration might cause significant fatigue and impair sprint performance.

Aim: To test the hypothesis that a traditional high intense warm-up of long duration would elicit fatigue and impair sprint performance.

Methods: Five highly trained males competitive in endurance sports performed three different WU protocols on separate days in their postseason period. Their mean ± SD age, body mass and height were 24.2 ± 1.6 years, 78.4 ± 7.8 kg, 179.6 ± 8.8 cm. The study participants performed a timed 60 meter sprint on an indoor track. The traditional warm-up (LONG), started with 10 min of easy running; then 7 min of mobility drills followed by five sprints performed with 3-min break in between. The total duration of LONG was 35 minutes. The experimental warm-up (SHORT) was shorter and less intense; 10 min of easy running was followed by just one sprint. Both warm-up protocols were followed by 10 min of recovery, where participants were not allowed to sit down. A third test occasion served as control (CON), where participants did not conduct physical activity prior to the time trial, only 10 min of recovery. Participants also rated the satisfaction of their performance on a 10 point scale.

Results: The results of 60 m time trial performance showed no significant differences among the different WU protocols (P = 0.20). The 60 m performance was better for SHORT (8.02 ± 0.10 sec) than for LONG (8.08 ± 0.16 sec) and CON (8.20 ± 0.21 sec). 4 of 5 participants experienced their fastest time trial following SHORT. It appeared that participants were significantly faster following SHORT (7.99 ± 0.22 ms-1) compared to LONG (7.77 ± 0.33 ms-1) in the final 10 m of the time trial (P = 0.05). The satisfaction after SHORT scored highest (6.9), followed by LONG (5.9) and CON (4.5).

Conclusions: There is no significant difference between a traditional WU compared to a WU of shorter duration and lower intensity. The traditional WU showed a significant decline in running speed in the final stage of the time trial, which might be caused by fatigue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete, 2013:30
Keyword [en]
warm-up, muscle fatigue, sprint performance, 60-m sprint, no warm-up
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-2933OAI: diva2:649383
Educational program
Master programme
Available from: 2013-09-18 Created: 2013-09-18 Last updated: 2013-09-18Bibliographically approved

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