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J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):831-6.

Predictors of sprint start speed: the effects of resistive ground-based vs. inclined treadmill training.

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Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Medical Center Sports Medicine Biodynamics Center and Human Performance Laboratory, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


There is currently no consensus with regard to the most effective method to train for improved acceleration, or with regard to which kinematic variable provides the greatest opportunity for improvement in this important performance characteristic. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of resistive ground-based speed training and incline treadmill speed training on speed-related kinematic measures and sprint start speed. The hypothesis tested was that incline treadmill training would improve sprint start time, while the ground-based resistive training would not. Corollary hypotheses were that treadmill training would increase stride frequency and ground-based training would not affect kinematics during the sprint start. Thirty-one high school female soccer players (15.7 +/- 0.5 years) were assigned to either treadmill (n = 17) or ground-based (n = 14) training groups and trained 2 times a week for 6 weeks. The treadmill group utilized incline speed training on a treadmill, while the ground-based group utilized partner band resistance ground-based techniques. Three-dimensional motion analysis was used (4.5 m mark) before and after training to quantify kinematics during the fastest of 3 recorded sprint starts (9.1 m). Both groups decreased average sprint start time from 1.75 +/- 0.12 to 1.68 +/- 0.08 seconds (p < 0.001). Training increased stride frequency (p = 0.030) but not stride length. After training, total vertical pelvic displacement and stride length predicted 62% of the variance in sprint start time for the resistive ground-based group, while stride length and stride frequency accounted for 67% prediction of the variance in sprint start time for the treadmill group. The results of this study indicate that both incline treadmill and resistive ground-based training are effective at improving sprint start speed, although they potentially do so through differing mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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