Relationship between strength qualities and short track speed skating performance in young athletes

S Felser, M Behrens, S Fischer, S Heise, M Bäumler, R Salomon, S Bruhn
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 2016, 26 (2): 165-71
This study analyzed the relationships between isometric as well as concentric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) strength of the leg muscles and the times as well as speeds over different distances in 17 young short track speed skaters. Isometric as well as concentric single-joint MVC strength and multi-joint MVC strength in a stable (without skates) and unstable (with skates) condition were tested. Furthermore, time during maximum skating performances on ice was measured. Results indicate that maximum torques during eversion and dorsal flexion have a significant influence on skating speed. Concentric MVC strength of the knee extensors was higher correlated with times as well as speeds over the different distances than isometric MVC strength. Multi-joint MVC testing revealed that the force loss between measurements without and with skates amounts to 25%, while biceps femoris and soleus showed decreased muscle activity and peroneus longus, tibialis anterior, as well as rectus femoris exhibited increased muscle activity. The results of this study depict evidence that the skating times and speeds are primarily influenced by concentric MVC strength of the leg extensors. To be able to transfer the strength onto ice in an optimal way, it is necessary to stabilize the knee and ankle joints.

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