Warm-up 'enhances performance'
Washington: Performing a warm-up using just body weight can improve performance during exercise, according to a new study on elite athletes.
An international team, led by La Trobe University, has found that performing low load gluteal muscle exercises before a work-out enhances strength and power in the lower body during exercise.
For their study, researchers analysed the effect of warm-up exercises on 22 elite Australian Football League (AFL) players to enhance performance.
"We found that body-weight gluteal exercises increase explosiveness in your lower half.
Low load exercises of this nature are likely to be more acceptable to the athlete and coach than are protocols incorporating heavier loads due to a lower risk of fatigue and minimal equipment requirements.
"A warm-up protocol involving low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscles is effective at acutely enhancing explosive power output in the lower limbs," the study`s lead author Justin Crow said.
In fact, the researchers compared three warm-up methods on players including the low load exercise protocol squatting on a whole body vibration machine and a control protocol where athletes did no warm-up.
"The players that performed the low load gluteal exercises were more powerful during jumping than those in the control group and weight-bearing vibration group.
"Coaches may consider this protocol when preparing athletes for competition or training in sports involving explosive lower limb movements such as jumping, sprinting, and some weightlifting movements," he said in a release.
The findings have been published in the `Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research`.