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J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Sep;27(9):2494-503. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827f5103.

Influence of sprint acceleration stance kinetics on velocity and step kinematics in field sport athletes.

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Exercise and Sport Science Department, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, Australia.


The interaction between step kinematics and stance kinetics determines sprint velocity. However, the influence that stance kinetics has on effective acceleration in field sport athletes requires clarification. About 25 men (age = 22.4 ± 3.2 years; mass = 82.8 ± 7.2 kg; height = 1.81 ± 0.07 m) completed twelve 10-m sprints, 6 sprints each for kinematic and kinetic assessment. Pearson's correlations (p ≤ 0.05) examined relationships between 0-5, 5-10, and 0-10 m velocity; step kinematics (mean step length [SL], step frequency, contact time [CT], flight time over each interval); and stance kinetics (relative vertical, horizontal, and resultant force and impulse; resultant force angle; ratio of horizontal to resultant force [RatF] for the first, second, and last contacts within the 10-m sprint). Relationships were found between 0-5, 5-10, and 0-10 m SL and 0-5 and 0-10 m velocity (r = 0.397-0.535). CT of 0-5 and 0-10 m correlated with 5-10 m velocity (r = -0.506 and -0.477, respectively). Last contact vertical force correlated with 5-10 m velocity (r = 0.405). Relationships were established between the second and last contact vertical and resultant force and CT over all intervals (r = -0.398 to 0.569). First and second contact vertical impulse correlated with 0-5 m SL (r = 0.434 and 0.442, respectively). Subjects produced resultant force angles and RatF suitable for horizontal force production. Faster acceleration in field sport athletes involved longer steps, with shorter CT. Greater vertical force production was linked with shorter CT, illustrating efficient force production. Greater SLs during acceleration were facilitated by higher vertical impulse and appropriate horizontal force. Speed training for field sport athletes should be tailored to encourage these technique adaptations.

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