Effects of jaw clenching wearing customized mouthguards on agility, power and vertical jump in male high-standard basketball players
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Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, ISSN: 1728-869X, Vol: 16, Issue: 1, Page: 5-11
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Basketball players commonly use mouthguards for protecting their mouths from collisions with other players. Besides, literature reports that specific types of mouthguards may become an ergogenic device that facilitates a powerful jaw clenching, and a subsequent concurrent activation potentiation through this remote voluntary contraction of the mandible muscles. A randomized within-subjects design was used to study the effects of this mechanism on muscular performance (vertical jump, agility, bench press power and leg press power) into two different conditions (mouthguard and no mouthguard) in high-standard basketball players (n = 13). A mean differences analysis and a responder analysis were conducted. Significant improvements were found (p < 0.05) in all vertical jump protocols using the mouthguard when compared to the no mouthguard conditions. However, no significant differences were found between the two conditions in agility and power (except in one load of bench press). Nevertheless, p-values were closer to statistical significance when analyzing the total time for the agility T-Test than when the first split time was under consideration (p = 0.111 and p = 0.944, respectively). This study demonstrated that the use of custom-made, bite-aligning mouthguard had an ergogenic effect on jump outcomes and inconclusive results in agility T-Test in professional basketball players. From the results obtained in the present study, the use of this type of mouthguards seems to be more justified in power actions on the court than in the strength and conditioning sessions at the gym in well-trained players.