To examine the acute effects of a conditioning plyometric exercise on long-jump performance during a simulated long-jump competition.
Eight national-level track and field decathletes performed 6 long-jump attempts with a full approach run separated by 10-min recoveries. In the experimental condition subjects performed 3 rebound vertical jumps with maximal effort 3 min before the last 5 attempts, while the 1st attempt served as baseline. In the control condition the participants performed 6 long jumps without executing the conditioning exercise.
Compared with baseline, long-jump performance progressively increased only in the experimental condition, from 3.0%, or 17.5 cm, in the 3rd attempt (P = .046, d = 0.56), to 4.8%, or 28.2 cm, in the 6th attempt (P = .0001, d = 0.84). The improvement in long-jump performance was due to a gradual increase in vertical takeoff velocity from the 3rd (by 8.7%, P = .0001, d = 1.82) to the 6th jump (by 17.7%, P = .0001, d = 4.38). Horizontal-approach velocity, takeoff duration, and horizontal velocity at takeoff were similar at all long-jump attempts in both conditions (P = .80, P = .36, and P = .15, respectively).
Long-jump performance progressively improved during a simulated competition when a plyometric conditioning exercise was executed 3 min before each attempt. This improvement was due to a progressive increase in vertical velocity of takeoff, while there was no effect on the horizontal velocity.