Relationship between sprint times and the strength/power outputs of a machine squat jump

Nigel K Harris, John B Cronin, Will G Hopkins, Keir T Hansen
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2008, 22 (3): 691-8
Strength testing is often used with team-sport athletes, but some measures of strength may have limited prognostic/diagnostic value in terms of the physical demands of the sport. The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between sprint ability and the kinetic and kinematic outputs of a machine squat jump. Thirty elite level rugby union and league athletes with an extensive resistance-training background performed bilateral concentric-only machine squat jumps across loads of 20% to 90% 1 repetition maximum (1RM), and sprints over 10 meters and 30 or 40 meters. The magnitudes of the relationships were interpreted using Pearson correlation coefficients, which had uncertainty (90% confidence limits) of approximately +/-0.3. Correlations of 10-meter sprint time with kinetic and kinematic variables (force, velocity, power, and impulse) were generally positive and of moderate to strong magnitude (r = 0.32-0.53). The only negative correlations observed were for work, although the magnitude was small (r = -0.18 to -0.26). The correlations for 30- or 40-meter sprint times were similar to those for 10-meter times, although the correlation with work was positive and moderate (r = 0.35-0.40). Correlations of 10-meter time with kinetic variables expressed relative to body mass were generally positive and of trivial to small magnitude (r = 0.01-0.29), with the exceptions of work (r = -0.31 to -0.34), and impulse (r = -0.34 to -0.39). Similar correlations were observed for 30- and 40-meter times with kinetic measures expressed relative to body mass. Although correlations do not imply cause and effect, the preoccupation with maximizing power output in this particular resistance exercise to improve sprint ability appears problematic. Work and impulse are potentially important strength qualities to develop in the pursuit of improved sprinting performance.

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