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Effects and mechanisms of tapering in maximizing maximal neuromuscular power
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The development of power is one of the most fundamental physiological adaptations for improving physical performance and it is of great importance in most athletic movements. In order to optimize the performance in a competition, athletes usually decrease their training load before competition, called tapering, to allow physiological and psychological recovery from accumulated training stress. The decrease in training load is done through changes in training volume, intensity and/or frequency and training volume seems to be the most effective variable to manipulate to achieve increased maximal power. There are two main types of tapering: progressive tapering and one-step tapering and both seem to be effective in increasing or maintaining maximal power. However, there is no general conclusion on the duration of the tapering period so far. The physiological mechanisms regarding tapering effects on the neuromuscular system are largely unknown and further studies are needed. Generally, it is believed that the sustained maximal power after tapering is obtained through maintaining the alterations in muscle fiber size, fiber type and/or neural adaptations. Increased maximal power after tapering is assumed mainly through both physiological and psychological recovery, even though not many studies have been done on that. However, possible mechanisms for increased maximal power may include a higher neural drive and increased CSA of type IIA muscle fibers. Complete rest is a special form of tapering. The effects of complete rest on maximal power and the underlying mechanisms were also revealed in this study. In principle complete rest mainly resulted in sustained maximal power which were believed to be mainly due to decreased muscle CSA and a transformation of muscle fibers from type IIA to type IIX. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 17 p.
Keyword [en]
tapering, complete rest, maximal neuromuscular power, mechanisms
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57090OAI: diva2:539653
Educational program
Study Programme for Sport Sciences
Available from: 2012-08-10 Created: 2012-07-04 Last updated: 2012-08-10Bibliographically approved

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