The aim of this study was to investigate student experiences of publishing undergraduate research in biomechanics. A total of 29 former students with experience of publishing peer-reviewed undergraduate biomechanics research completed an online survey regarding their perceived benefits, level of involvement, and experiences in aspects of the research process. On average, students perceived their experiences to be “largely helpful” or greater in all aspects. Areas were identified corresponding to: the greatest perceived benefits (eg, understanding of the research process); the least perceived benefits (eg, statistical analysis skills); the greatest student involvement (eg, reading relevant literature); and the least student involvement (eg, developing hypotheses and/or methods). A thematic analysis of open question responses identified themes relating to: future career, skills, scientific process, intra- and interpersonal factors, and pedagogy. Common intended learning outcomes may be achieved through involvement in the research process independently of the level of staff involvement. Staff should be encouraged to involve students in publishable biomechanics research projects where this is possible without compromising research standards and should explore ways of recreating the publishing process internally for all students.
Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor
Marco Beato, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Israel Halperin, and Antonio Dello Iacono
Purpose: To summarize the evidence on postactivation potentiation (PAP) protocols using flywheel eccentric overload (EOL) exercises. Methods: Studies were searched using the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Institute for Scientific Information Web of Knowledge. Results: In total, 7 eligible studies were identified based on the following results: First, practitioners can use different inertia intensities (eg, 0.03–0.11 kg·m2), based on the exercise selected, to enhance sport-specific performance. Second, the PAP time window following EOL exercise seems to be consistent with traditional PAP literature, where acute fatigue is dominant in the early part of the recovery period (eg, 30 s), and PAP is dominant in the second part (eg, 3 and 6 min). Third, as EOL exercises require large force and power outputs, a volume of 3 sets with the conditioning activity (eg, half-squat or lunge) seems to be a sensible approach. This could reduce the transitory muscle fatigue and thereby allow for a stronger potentiation effect compared with larger exercise volumes. Fourth, athletes should gain experience by performing EOL exercises before using the tool as part of a PAP protocol (3 or 4 sessions of familiarization). Finally, the dimensions of common flywheel devices offer useful and practical solutions to induce PAP effects outside of normal training environments and prior to competitions. Conclusions: EOL exercise can be used to stimulate PAP responses to obtain performance advantages in various sports. However, future research is needed to determine which EOL exercise modalities among intensity, volume, and rest intervals optimally induce the PAP phenomenon and facilitate transfer effects on athletic performances.
Kevin L. de Keijzer, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Antonio Dello Iacono, and Marco Beato
Purpose: To investigate the postactivation potentiation (PAP) effects of different eccentric overload (EOL) exercise volumes on countermovement-jump (CMJ) and standing-long-jump (LJ) performance. Methods: In total, 13 male university soccer players participated in a crossover design study following a familiarization period. Control (no PAP) CMJ and LJ performances were recorded, and 3 experimental protocols were performed in a randomized order: 1, 2, or 3 sets of 6 repetitions of flywheel EOL half-squats (inertia = 0.029 kg·m2). Performance of CMJ and LJ was measured 3 and 6 minutes after all experimental conditions. The time course and magnitude of the PAP were compared between conditions. Results: Meaningful positive PAP effects were reported for CMJ after 2 (Bayes factor [BF10] = 3.15, moderate) and 3 (BF10 = 3.25, moderate) sets but not after 1 set (BF10 = 2.10, anecdotal). Meaningful positive PAP effects were reported for LJ after 2 (BF10 = 3.05, moderate) and 3 (BF10 = 3.44, moderate) sets but not after 1 set (BF10 = 0.53, anecdotal). The 2- and 3-set protocols resulted in meaningful positive PAP effects on both CMJ and LJ after 6 minutes but not after 3 minutes. Conclusion: This study reported beneficial effects of multiset EOL exercise over a single set. A minimum of 2 sets of flywheel EOL half-squats are required to induce PAP effects on CMJ and LJ performance of male university soccer players. Rest intervals of around 6 minutes (>3 min) are required to maximize the PAP effects via multiple sets of EOL exercise. However, further research is needed to clarify the optimal EOL protocol configurations for PAP response.