K. Block, K. Balikov, A. Draper, K. Farris, N. Tolton, D.B. Thorp

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Postural interventions, such as a power pose, have been shown to elicit both physiological and psychological responses including elevated testosterone, decreased cortisol, as well as increased confidence and risk-taking behavior. Previous studies have shown that increases in testosterone may lead to greater force production in muscle. PURPOSE: This study investigated whether postural intervention, specifically a power pose, could increase isometric force production. METHODS: 21 males, 18 to 22 years old, participated. During their first visit to the lab, subjects were familiarized with the isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) protocol which consisted three six-second IMTPs each separated by 60 seconds rest. During their second and third visits to the lab, subjects were shown an example of a postural intervention (either a power pose (PP) or a neutral pose (NP)), then asked to hold that pose for one minute after which they immediately completed the IMTP protocol. The order of postural intervention was counterbalanced between the second and third visits to the lab. All IMTP protocols were performed on a force platform recording vertical ground reaction force. Peak force (PF) was the highest recorded force value during each six-second IMTP, average force (AF) was the mean force produced during each IMTP and explosiveness (EXP) was determined by the slope of the force increase in the initial 0.2 seconds of each IMTP. PF, AF, and EXP were averaged from the three IMTPs for each subject for each condition. A paired samples t-test compared PF, AF, and EXP between the two postural interventions. A repeated-measures ANOVA determined if an order/learning effect existed for the three visits regardless of intervention. (IBM SPSS v24, significance at p<0.05). RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the two conditions for PF (PP: 1042.5±318.7 N vs. NP: 1046.6±350.5 N, p=0.837), AF (PP: 874.8±315.2 N vs. NP: 885.2±320.8 N, p=0.560), or EXP (PP: 2903.7±1379.2 N/s vs. NP: 2917.4±1543.2 N/s, p=0.938). There was no order/learning effect for PF, AF, or EXP (p=0.949, p=0.963, p=0.833, respectively). CONCLUSION: While power posing might affect a person psychologically, the current study provides no evidence that postural intervention leads to increased isometric force production.

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