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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.
The authors are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.