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The effects of either a mirror, internal or external focus instructions on single and multi-joint tasks

Halperin, I, Hughes, S, Panchuk, Derek, Abbiss, C and Chapman, DW (2016) The effects of either a mirror, internal or external focus instructions on single and multi-joint tasks. PLoS ONE, 11 (11). ISSN 1932-6203

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© 2016 Halperin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Training in front of mirrors is common, yet little is known about how the use of mirrors effects muscle force production. Accordingly, we investigated how performing in front of a mirror influences performance in single and multi-joint tasks, and compared the mirror condition to the established performance effects of internal focus (IF) and external focus (EF) instructions in a two part experiment. In the single-joint experiment 28 resistance-trained participants (14 males and 14 females) completed two elbow flexion maximal voluntary isometric contractions under four conditions: mirror, IF, EF and neutral instructions. During these trials, surface EMG activity of the biceps and triceps were recorded. In the multi-joint experiment the same participants performed counter-movement jumps on a force plate under the same four conditions. Single-joint experiment: EF led to greater normalized force production compared to all conditions (P < 0.02, effect-size range [ES] = 0.46-1.31). No differences were observed between neutral and mirror conditions (P = 0.15, ES = 0.15), but both were greater than IF (P < 0.01, ES = 0.79-1.84). Surface EMG activity was comparable across conditions (P≥0.1, ES = 0.10-0.21). Multi-joint experiment: Despite no statistical difference (P= 0.10), a moderate effect size was observed for jump height whereby EF was greater than IF (ES = 0.51). No differences were observed between neutral and mirror conditions (ES = 0.01), but both were greater than IF (ES = 0.20-22). The mirror condition led to superior performance compared to IF, inferior performance compared to EF, and was equal to a neutral condition in both tasks. These results provide novel and practical evidence concerning mirror training during resistance type training.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: resistant training; mirror condition; physical training
Subjects: Current > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2018 03:54
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2018 00:51
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Citations in Scopus: 2 - View on Scopus

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