The Effects of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitated Stretching and Plyometric Exercise on Broad Jump Performance

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Brian Rider

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The broad jump is a test used to measure horizontal power. This test is often employed in sports such as football and rugby, where horizontal power is critically important for success. Little research has been done examining the most effective ways for athletes to warm-up prior to broad jump testing. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess and compare the acute effects of three separate warm-up conditions on broad jump performance in college football players. The three conditions were: A) Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated (PNF) stretching which is a method of stretching that targets flexibility through passive and active stretching, B) Plyometric exercise which involves high intensity bouts of explosive movements to stretch and contract the muscles, in order to increase overall power and C) Static stretching in which the individual stretches the muscles to their end range-of-motion and holds the stretch for 30 to 45 seconds. Approximately 20 football players were recruited for this study. Participants were randomly assigned their testing condition order and served as their own control. Testing was done during the offseason on non-training days. Participants underwent a familiarization session prior to starting the study. All sessions were completed in the course of one week on non-consecutive days. On testing days, participants first performed an initial set of three broad jumps. Then they underwent one of the three warm-up conditions. Lastly, they performed another set of three broad jumps. The time between warm-up and jumps was standardized at 1.5 minutes. Significant findings as to the effect of plyometrics and PNF stretching on broad jump performance could change the way power athletes’ warm-up prior to testing and/or competition. This study is ongoing and results will be available during the poster celebration.

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