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Do Thirty-Second Post-activation Potentiation Exercises Improve the 50-m Freestyle Sprint Performance in Adolescent Swimmers?

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submitted on 2024-03-04, 07:44 and posted on 2024-03-04, 07:44 authored by Zied Abbes, Karim Chamari, Iñigo Mujika, Montassar Tabben, Khalid W. Bibi, Ali Mostafa Hussein, Cyril Martin, Monoem Haddad


The purpose of the study was to investigate performance, biomechanical, physiological, and psychophysiological effects of a simple and easily organized post-activation potentiation (PAP) re-warm-up performed before a 50-m freestyle swimming sprint.


Regional level male adolescent swimmers [age: 13.0 ± 2.0 years; (min 11 years – max 15 years)] performed four trial conditions (three experimental, one control) on different days. The control trial involved a standardized 1200-m warm-up followed by 30 min of rest and a maximal 50-m freestyle swimming sprint. The experimental trials involved the same protocol but added a PAP component after a 20-min rest (10 min pre-50-m): The different PAP component involved the subjects in completing a 30-s maximal effort of: (1) push-ups (PU – upper body), (2) squats (SQ – lower body), and (3) burpees (BP – lower and upper body). Performance (time-trial), biomechanical (stroke length, stroke frequency), physiological (blood lactate concentrations, heart rate), and psychophysiological (ratings of perceived exertion) variables were collected.


The results demonstrated that the PAP protocols used in this investigation had no effect on swimming performance. Before the 50-m swimming sprint, the lactate values were significantly higher after the PU, BP, and SQ PAP loads compared to the control condition [P(CC-PU) = 0.02; P(CC-BP) = 0.01; P(CC-SQ) = 0.04]. For Lactate values, a significant and large effect of experimental condition compared to control condition was found (p < 0.05, η2 = 0.68). At 1 min after the 50-m time trial, significant differences were observed between the control condition and the different PAP loads [P(CC-PU) = 0.01; P(CC-BP) = 0.04; P(CC-SQ) = 0.01]. At 3 min after the 50-m sprint, significant differences were found between the control condition and the PU and SQ PAP loads [P(CC-PU) = 0.018; P(CC-SQ) = 0.008, respectively]. Additionally, a significant and large effect of experimental condition was found at 1 and 3 min after the 50-m swimming sprint (p < 0.05, η2(1 min) = 0.73; η2(3 min) = 0.59). There were medium sized but non-significant effects of interaction between the conditions, was illustrated for the mean HR values in response to the different conditions (p > 0.05; η2 = 0.083).

Conclusion: None of the three PAP protocols showed any significant improvement in performance, biomechanical, physiological, and psychophysiological variables before, during and after the 50-m swimming time-trial. Further studies are warranted to investigate ways to improve swimming performance with simple body mass exercises performed in-between the end of pool warm-up and race start.

Other Information

Published in: Frontiers in Physiology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2018

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital - AZF
  • Qatar University
  • College of Education - QU
  • College of Arts and Sciences - QU

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