Effects of Dynamic Stretching Combined With Static Stretching, Foam Rolling, or Vibration Rolling as a Warm-Up Exercise on Athletic Performance in Elite Table Tennis Players

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Warm-up exercise is an essential preexercise routine for athletes to optimize performance. However, the benefits of combined warm-up protocols remain unclear. Objective: This comparative study investigated the acute effects of dynamic stretching (DS) followed by static stretching (SS), self-myofascial release using a foam rolling (FR) device, or vibration foam rolling (VFR) as a warm-up exercise to improve flexibility, power, agility, and specific skills in elite table tennis players. Design: A crossover study. Setting: University. Participants: Twenty-three elite table tennis players. Interventions: Players completed 3 different interventions in a random order (DS + SS, DS + FR, and DS + VFR). The target muscle groups included the bilateral posterior calf, posterior thigh, anterior thigh, back, and shoulder. Main Outcome Measures: Sit-and-reach test for flexibility, board jump test for lower-extremity power, medicine ball throw test for upper-extremity power, Edgren Side Step Test for agility, and ball speed of table tennis was assessed before and after intervention. Results: After intervention, significant increases in flexibility (15.2%, 20.4%, and 23.8%); lower-limb power (4.5%, 6.6%, and 6.3%); upper-limb power (9.6%, 8.5%, and 9.1%); and ball speed (7.4%, 7.6%, and 7.7%) were observed for DS + SS, DS + FR, and DS + VFR, respectively (all P < .001). In addition, only DS coupled with FR (5.1%) and DS in conjunction with VFR (2.7%) significantly improved agility (P < .001). However, no significant improvements in agility were observed after DS + SS. In addition, no one protocol was superior to the other in all outcomes. Conclusion: The authors suggest that a combination of DS with FR or VFR as warm-up exercises significantly improved flexibility, power, ball speed, in addition to agility in elite table tennis players. Coach and athletic professionals may take this information into account for choosing more effective warm-up protocols to enhance performance.

Hsu is with the Department of Rehabilitation, Pingtung Christian Hospital, Pingtung, Taiwan. Hsu and N.-J. Chang are with the Department of Sports Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Tsai is with the Physical Education Center, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Lee is with the Center for Physical and Health Education, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. W.-D. Chang is with the Department of Sport Performance, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taichung, Taiwan. N.-J. Chang is also with the PhD Program in Biomedical Engineering, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and the Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Research Center, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

N.-J. Chang (njchang@kmu.edu.tw) is corresponding author.
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