This study investigated the relationship between sprint start performance (5-m time) and strength and power variables. Thirty male athletes [height: 183.8 (6.8) cm, and mass: 90.6 (9.3) kg; mean (SD)] each completed six 10-m sprints from a standing start. Sprint times were recorded using a tethered running system and the force-time characteristics of the first ground contact were recorded using a recessed force plate. Three to six days later subjects completed three concentric jump squats, using a traditional and split technique, at a range of external loads from 30–70% of one repetition maximum (1RM). Mean (SD) braking impulse during acceleration was negligible [0.009 (0.007) N/s/kg) and showed no relationship with 5 m time; however, propulsive impulse was substantial [0.928 (0.102) N/s/kg] and significantly related to 5-m time (r=−0.64, P<0.001). Average and peak power were similar during the split squat [7.32 (1.34) and 17.10 (3.15) W/kg] and the traditional squat [7.07 (1.25) and 17.58 (2.85) W/kg], and both were significantly related to 5-m time (r=−0.64 to −0.68, P<0.001). Average power was maximal at all loads between 30% and 60% of 1RM for both squats. Split squat peak power was also maximal between 30% and 60% of 1RM; however, traditional squat peak power was maximal between 50% and 70% of 1RM. Concentric force development is critical to sprint start performance and accordingly maximal concentric jump power is related to sprint acceleration.
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We would like to thank Mr. Nigel Barrett and Mr. Jamie Plowman for their technical assistance with data collection and analysis. Also thanks to Dr. Wayne Albert and Dr. Patrick Neary for their helpful comments on the final manuscript. The experiments described in this paper comply with current Canadian and New Zealand laws.
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Sleivert, G., Taingahue, M. The relationship between maximal jump-squat power and sprint acceleration in athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol 91, 46–52 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-003-0941-0
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