Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Warm-up with a Weighted Vest Improves Running Performance via Leg Stiffness and Running Economy


Movement Science Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Life Sciences


A bout of resistance exercise can enhance subsequent high-intensity performance, but little is known about such priming exercise for endurance performance. Objectives To determine the effects of "strides" with a weighted-vest during a warm-up on endurance performance and its potential neuromuscular and metabolic mediators. Design A crossover with 5-7 days between an experimental and control trial was performed by 11 well-trained distance runners. Methods Each trial was preceded by a warm-up consisting of a 10-min self-paced jog, a 5-min submaximal run to determine running economy, and six 10-s strides with or without a weighted-vest (20% of body mass). After a 10-min recovery period, runners performed a series of jumps to determine leg stiffness and other neuromuscular characteristics, another 5-min submaximal run, and an incremental treadmill test to determine peak running speed. Clinical and non-clinical forms of magnitude-based inference were used to assess outcomes. Correlations and linear regression were used to assess relationships between performance and underlying measures. Results The weighted-vest condition resulted in a very-large enhancement of peak running speed (2.9%; 90% confidence limits ±0.8%), a moderate increase in leg stiffness (20.4%; ±4.2%) and a large improvement in running economy (6.0%; ±1.6%); there were also small-moderate clear reductions in cardiorespiratory measures. Relationships between change scores showed that changes in leg stiffness could explain all the improvements in performance and economy. Conclusions Strides with a weighted-vest have a priming effect on leg stiffness and running economy. It is postulated the associated major effect on peak treadmill running speed will translate into enhancement of competitive endurance performance.

Conference Name

American College of Sports Medicine 61st Annual Meeting

Conference Location

Orlando, FL

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