JOURNAL ARTICLE

The physiology and biomechanics of upper-body repeated sprints in ice sledge hockey

Øyvind Sandbakk, Matt Spencer, Gertjan Ettema, Silvana Bucher Sandbakk, Knut Skovereng, Boye Welde
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 2014, 9 (1): 77-84
23628782

PURPOSE: To investigate performance and the associated physiological and biomechanical responses during upper-body repeated-sprint work.

METHODS: Twelve male ice sledge hockey players from the Norwegian national team performed eight 30-m sprints with start every 30 s and an active recovery between sprints. Time was captured every 10 m by photocells, cycle length and rate were determined by video analyses, and heart rate and blood lactate concentration were measured by conventional methods.

RESULTS: The percentage sprint decrement was 7% over the 8 trials, with significant reductions in performance from the previous trial already on the second trial (all P < .05). Furthermore, cycle rate was reduced by 9% over the 8 trials (P < .05). Similar changes in performance and kinematic patterns were evident for all 10-m phases of the sprints. Heart rate gradually increased to 94% of maximal (178 ± 10 beats/min) over the 8 trials, and the mean reduction in heart rate was 7 ± 2 beats/min during the 22-24 s of active recovery for all trials (all P < .05). The blood lactate concentration increased to the athletes' maximal levels over the 8 sprints (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to investigate performance, physiological, and biomechanical aspects of self-propelled upper-body repeated-sprint work. The observed sprint decrement over the 8 trials was associated with reductions in cycle rates and high physiological demands. However, no kinematic and physiological characteristics were significantly correlated to repeated-sprint ability or the sprint decrement.

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