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Ryan Holding, Rudi Meir and Shi Zhou

The purpose of this study was to examine whether a video-based warm-up could provide an acute performance benefit to response time for athletes in a sport-specific agility task. In addition, 2 learning strategies, explicit and implicit, were compared for their effectiveness in facilitating an improvement in sport-specific agility. Thirty representative male junior rugby union players (age 14–16 y, mean age 14.6 ± 1.09 y) were placed in 3 experimental groups (explicit, implicit, and control) and completed 2 intervention sessions. Testing sessions included preintervention testing, completion of the video-based warm-up intervention, and postintervention testing. A 3D motion-analysis system was used to assess response time in the testing battery. The athletes’ response times on the pre- to postintervention tests were compared to determine the effectiveness of the video-based warm-up. A 2-way general linear model with repeated-measures analysis indicated that both the explicit (P = .030, d = 0.28) and implicit (P = .049, d = 0.33) groups significantly improved their response time by the intervention compared with the control group (P = .367, d = 0.08). The mean postintervention response time for the explicit group improved by 19.1% (from 0.246 s pre to 0.199 s post), and the implicit group improved by 15.7% (from 0.268 s to 0.226 s). Findings suggest that a video-based warm-up may provide an acute benefit to sport-specific agility performance for junior athletes.

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Neil Chapman, John Whitting, Suzanne Broadbent, Zachary Crowley-McHattan and Rudi Meir

A systematic literature search was conducted to review the evidence of residual force enhancement (RFE) in vivo human muscle. The search, adhered to the PRISMA statement, of CINAHL, EBSCO, Embase, MEDLINE, and Scopus (inception—July 2017) was conducted. Full-text English articles that assessed at least 1 measure of RFE in vivo voluntarily contracted human skeletal muscle were selected. The methodologies of included articles were assessed against the Downs and Black checklist. Twenty-four studies were included (N = 424). Pooled Downs and Black scores ranked “fair” (x¯=17 [2.26]). RFE was observed in all muscles tested. Joint range of motion varied from 15° to 60°. Contraction intensities ranged from 10% to >95% maximum. Although transient force enhancement during the stretch phase may change with angular velocity, RFE in the subsequent isometric phase is independent of velocity. The magnitude of RFE was influenced by smaller stretch amplitudes and greatest at joint angles indicative of longer muscle lengths. Contraction and activation intensity influenced RFE, particularly during the initial isometric contraction phase of a poststretch isometric contraction. RFE resulted in increased torque production, reduced muscular activation, and enhanced torque production when the neuromuscular system is weakened seen in an aged population.