Warm-up is believed to be one of the most important factors in achieving an optimal performance in all sports. Its purpose is to promote physical capacities such as strength, endurance, flexibility, and to prepare the body for physical activity, increasing the body temperature, the speed of the neuromuscular responses and is also found to prevent tendon and ligament injuries. A specific warm-up to jump and sprinting in team sports may require a large use of energy and can be potentially harmful when it is too long or is done in haste. Sometimes the athlete might not perform a specific warm-up or he might do so in a hurry, which can also lead to an injury risk due to technical, tactical or regulative reasons.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether an aerobic warm-up carried out on a cycle ergometer has an influence on the vertical jump performance.
Participants included 25 football players’ males (2nd Division B, Group IV. Spanish Football League; aged 22.7 ± 3.3 years). The jump tests were performed on successive days. On the first day they were made without warm-up (T1). The next day jump tests were performed after a warm-up on a bicycle ergometer (T2). The warm-up had two phases of 5 minutes each Phase 1: Pedalling for 5 minutes at 114.8 ± 8.3 beats/min (bpm) with a medium absolute power intensity of 112.2 ± 13.2 watts (w), Phase 2: Pedalling for 5 minutes at 147.2 ± 6.7 bpm (197.5 ± 38.4 w).
The Jump tests were carried out according to the following pattern: 5 free vertical jumps (J1); repeated vertical jumps during 10 seconds (J2) and repeated vertical jumps during 60 seconds (J3) with a 3 minute rest between tests. Heart rate was measured at rest and while performing.
In J1, the height of the jump went from 41.9 cm ± 5.4 without warm-up to 43.9 cm ± 5.8 after pedalling; (F = 806.0; p = 0.001), the flight increased in time (492.21 ± 45.7 ms vs 508.35 ± 47.5 ms p ≤ 0.001), the contact with the ground decreased (217.4 ± 46.5 ms vs 211.2 ± 23.6 ms p ≤ 0.001) (table1) and the maximum heart rate raised 111.2 ± 22.1 bpm vs 130.0 ± 13.8 bpm (table 3). In J2 the height implies the jump went from 24.9 cm ± 5.3 to 25.0 cm ± 4.9 (F = 329.3; p < 0.001). In T3 the height show the jump went from 21.1 cm ± 4.5 to 21.3 cm ± 4.2 (F = 328.2; p < 0.001) (Table 2). The number of jumps in J2 went from 15.7 ± 1.7 to 15.6 ± 0.9 (p < 0.01) and in J3 from 97.5 ± 6.6 to 96.6 ± 7.2 (p < 0.01) (Table 2).
This study proves that two phases of 5 minute warm-ups on a bicycle ergometer improves both the vertical jump performance and the heart rate throughout the process; therefore we can conclude that pedalling may be included in the protocol of warm-up in the jump sports disciplines.
Acknowledgment The authors would like to express appreciation for the support of Ministerio de Ecoomia y Competitividad. Gobierno de España. [Project Number = DEP2013-47656-P].