The effects of Motor Imagery on Strength Performance
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Research has shown the combination of strength training and motor imagery can increase isometric force production. This study explored the impact of motor imagery on dynamic strength using a 3RM bench press and back squat. Participants were randomized into either the treatment or placebo condition and engaged in an11 week training program (motor imagery: n=8; motivational music: n=7). Results for both the upper and lower body strength showed a significant overall main effect for time from baseline to post-test measure (upper body: motor imagery: M= 43.5 kg, SD= 18.65 kg to M= 60.7 kg, SD= 24.0 kg; placebo: M= 45.0 kg, SD= 15.54 kg to M=55.0 kg, SD=17.9 kg; p=.000) (lower body: motor imagery: M= 82.9 kg, SD= 29.72 kg to M=110.0 kg, SD= 23.4 kg; placebo: M= 84.6 kg, SD= 20.29 kg to M=119.3 kg, SD= 24.6 kg; p=.000). The upper body strength displayed a significant interaction effect (p=.001) between program type and time, lower body strength had an insignificant interaction effect (p=.162, ?p2=.162). Finally, there was no between group significant difference for overall main of upper (p=.870, ?p2=.002) and lower body (p=.818, ?p2=.004) strength. These results suggest that motor imagery may have an impact on the development of strength over an 11 week training program. However, further understanding of imagery use and how it impacts strength is needed.