Claeys, J., Zakrajsek, R., Martinson, M., Smith, K., Hochgesang, S., Brewer, A., Ritchey, M., Edwards, A., Nesser, T., Gage, M., & Kingsley, J. D. (2012). The effect of stretching and motor imagery on anaerobic performance in trained cyclists. Presentation 1885 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study examined the effects of static stretching compared to motor imagery and quiet rest (sitting and reading the student newspaper) on anaerobic performance in trained cyclists (M = 9; F = 4). Ss performed three randomized sessions, separated by at least 72 hours, consisting of cycling for 30 minutes at 65% of VO2max before undergoing 15 minutes of static stretching, motor imagery, or quiet rest, followed by an anaerobic performance test. Static stretching consisted of three sets of 30-second stretches for the knee flexors/extensors, hip flexors/extensors, and the piriformis. Imagery was based on the physical, environmental, task, learning, emotion, and perspective and was conducted by a trained technician. The physical nature of the imagery included wearing the same clothing and positioning themselves on the bike as when they were performing. The environmental component included performing imagery in the physical environment that the task was actually performed. Both relative and absolute powers, as well as peak rpm, were quantified using the 30-second Wingate anaerobic threshold test.

No significant interactions existed among static stretching, motor imagery, and quiet rest for relative peak power, absolute peak power, or peak rpm. Static stretching did not interfere with performance. Motor imagery did not enhance performance. Both were similar in effects to quiet rest.

Implication. Neither static stretching nor motor imagery affected anaerobic performance in trained cyclists.

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