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Preloading in Warmup Improves Sprint Performance

Study compares different protocols.

Preloading warmups for sprinters

Preloading before an event can improve performance by activating muscle potential. The challenge is finding the right the balance between fatigue and potentiation.

To find some answers, researchers in China conducted a study on 15 well-trained sprint runners using four different weighted exercise warmup protocols. Results showed that a preloading warmup performed with a sandbag tied just above each ankle joint—weighing 4% of body mass—significantly improved the time and rating of perceived exertion score of the 100-meter sprint. The team noted improvements on average velocity, stride frequency, average stride length and average accelerated velocity.

Findings are available in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (2021; 61 [1], 10–17).

See also: Upgraded Movement Preparation

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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