Swimming Performance After an Eccentric Post-Activation Training Protocol
Applying maximum conditioning exercises temporarily improves muscle contractility thanks to post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE). However, it is now known whether the system can improve its adaptability to the procedure through a training based on the conditioning exercises themselves. This study set out to test a PAPE protocol in 14 swimmers before and after a training period. Initially, the subjects’ strength in both the lower and upper extremities was tested. Subsequently, the effects of two types of warm-ups were tested in a 50-metre swimming test, one a standard warm-up and the other one a PAPE which included maximum repetitions executed on eccentric training machines. A 6-week training protocol was then applied (2 days/week), in which maximum repetitions were executed on eccentric training machines, and the effects were once again studied both on the strength tests and after both warm-ups. The performance improved at 15 metres after the PAPE compared to the standard situation, but not in the subsequent metre marks. After the 6 weeks, increases in strength in the lower extremities (14.46%) and upper extremities (12.4%) were recorded. Following the application of the PAPE warm-up, the starting speed increased and swimming time and speed improved at 25, 40 and 50 metres, which suggests that the subjects were capable of attaining a better balance between fatigue and potentiation.