A comparison of maximal squat strength and 5-, 10-, and 20-meter sprint times, in athletes and recreationally trained men

Paul Comfort, Nathan Bullock, Stephen J Pearson
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2012, 26 (4): 937-40
The purpose of this study was to identify whether there was a relationship between relative strength during a 1 repetition maximum (1RM) back squat and 5-, 10-, and 20-m sprint performances in both trained athletes and recreationally trained individuals. Professional rugby league players (n = 24) and recreationally trained individuals (n = 20) participated in this investigation. Twenty-meter sprint time and 1RM back squat strength, using free weights, were assessed on different days. There were no significant (p ≥ 0.05) differences between the well-trained and recreationally trained groups for 5-m sprint times. In contrast, the well-trained group's 10- and 20-m sprint times were significantly quicker (p = 0.004; p = 0.002) (1.78 + 0.06 seconds; 3.03 + 0.09 seconds) compared with the recreationally trained group (1.84 + 0.07 seconds; 3.13 + 0.11 seconds). The athletes were significantly stronger (170.63 + 21.43 kg) than the recreationally trained individuals (135.45 + 30.07 kg) (p = 0.01); however, there were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in relative strength between groups (1.78 + 0.27 kg/kg; 1.78 + 0.33 kg/kg, respectively). Significant negative correlations were found between 5-m sprint time and relative squat strength (r = -0.613, power = 0.96, p = 0.004) and between relative squat strength and 10- and 20-m sprint times in the recreationally trained group (r = -0.621, power = 0.51, p = 0.003; r = -0.604, power = 0.53, p = 0.005, respectively). These results, indicating that relative strength, are important for initial sprint acceleration in all athletes but more strongly related to sprint performance over greater distances in recreationally trained individuals.

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