Efficacy of depth jumps to elicit a post-activation performance enhancement in junior endurance runners

Published:August 03, 2018DOI:



      To determine the effect of performing depth jumps (DJ) pre-exercise on running economy (RE) and time to exhaustion (TTE) at the speed associated with maximal oxygen uptake (s V ˙ O2max) in a group of high-performing junior middle-distance runners.


      Randomized crossover study.


      Seventeen national- and international-standard male distance runners (17.6 ± 1.2 years, 63.4 ± 6.3 kg, 1.76 ± 0.06 m, 70.7 ± 5.2 mL kg−1 min−1) completed two trials. Following a 5 min warm-up at 60% V ˙ O2max, participants performed a 5 min run at 20%Δ below oxygen uptake corresponding with lactate turn-point to determine pre-intervention RE. Participants then completed either six DJ from a box equivalent to their best counter-movement jump (CMJ) or a control condition (C) involving body weight quarter squats. After a 10 min passive recovery, another 5 min sub-maximal run was performed followed by a run to exhaustion at s V ˙ O2max.


      Compared to the C trial, DJ produced moderate improvements (−3.7%, 95% confidence interval for effect size: 0.25–1.09) in RE, which within the context of minimal detectable change is considered possibly beneficial. Differences in TTE and other physiological variables were most likely trivial (ES: <0.2). Individual responses were small, however a partial correlation revealed a moderate relationship (r = −0.55, p = 0.028) between change in RE and CMJ height.


      The inclusion of a set of six DJ in the warm-up routine of a well-trained young male middle-distance runner is likely to provide a moderate improvement in RE.


      C (control condition), CI (confidence interval), CMJ (counter-movement jump), DJ (depth jumps), HR (heart rate), LTP (lactate turnpoint), MDC95 (minimal detectable change (95% confidence)), MLC (myosin light chains), PAPE (post-activation performance enhancement), RE (running economy), sLTP (speed associated with lactate turnpoint), sV˙O2max (speed associated with V˙O2max), TE (typical error), TTE (time to exhaustion)


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