European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp 573–581

Running versus strength-based warm-up: acute effects on isometric knee extension function

  • Olivier Girard
  • Yvan Carbonnel
  • Robin Candau
  • Grégoire Millet
Original Article


This study investigated the influence of two warm-up protocols on neural and contractile parameters of knee extensors. A series of neuromuscular tests including voluntary and electrically evoked contractions were performed before and after running- (RWU; slow running, athletic drills, and sprints) and strength-based (SWU; bilateral 90° back squats, Olympic lifting movements and reactivity exercises) warm ups (duration ~40 min) in ten-trained subjects. The estimated overall mechanical work was comparable between protocols. Maximal voluntary contraction torque (+15.6%; P < 0.01 and +10.9%; P < 0.05) and muscle activation (+10.9 and +12.9%; P < 0.05) increased to the same extent after RWU and SWU, respectively. Both protocols caused a significant shortening of time to contract (−12.8 and −11.8% after RWU and SWU; P < 0.05), while the other twitch parameters did not change significantly. Running- and strength-based warm ups induce similar increase in knee extensors force-generating capacity by improving the muscle activation. Both protocols have similar effects on M-wave and isometric twitch characteristics.


Warm-up Electromyography Electrical stimulation Central activation Muscle contractile properties 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivier Girard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yvan Carbonnel
    • 2
  • Robin Candau
    • 3
  • Grégoire Millet
    • 4
  1. 1.Research and Education CentreASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine HospitalDohaQatar
  2. 2.UPRES, EA 2991, Faculty of Sport SciencesMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.UMR 866 INRA, University of Montpellier 1MontpellierFrance
  4. 4.ISSEP, University of Lausanne (UNIL)LausanneSwitzerland

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