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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 Jun;26(6):648-58. doi: 10.1111/sms.12490. Epub 2015 May 21.

A simple method for measuring power, force, velocity properties, and mechanical effectiveness in sprint running.

Author information

Laboratory of Exercise Physiology (EA4338), University Savoie Mont Blanc, Le Bourget du Lac, France.
Research Department, Laboratory Sport, Expertise and Performance, French Institute of Sport (INSEP), Paris, France.
Laboratory "Motricité, Interactions, Performance" (EA 4334), University of Nantes, Nantes, France.
CeSERM - EA 2931, UFRSTAPS, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense, Paris, France.
Laboratory IRISSE (EA4075), University of La Réunion, Le Tampon, La Réunion, France.
Laboratory of Human Performance, Department of Sports, University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain.
Laboratory of Human Motricity, Education Sport and Health (EA6312), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.


This study aimed to validate a simple field method for determining force- and power-velocity relationships and mechanical effectiveness of force application during sprint running. The proposed method, based on an inverse dynamic approach applied to the body center of mass, estimates the step-averaged ground reaction forces in runner's sagittal plane of motion during overground sprint acceleration from only anthropometric and spatiotemporal data. Force- and power-velocity relationships, the associated variables, and mechanical effectiveness were determined (a) on nine sprinters using both the proposed method and force plate measurements and (b) on six other sprinters using the proposed method during several consecutive trials to assess the inter-trial reliability. The low bias (<5%) and narrow limits of agreement between both methods for maximal horizontal force (638 ± 84 N), velocity (10.5 ± 0.74 m/s), and power output (1680 ± 280 W); for the slope of the force-velocity relationships; and for the mechanical effectiveness of force application showed high concurrent validity of the proposed method. The low standard errors of measurements between trials (<5%) highlighted the high reliability of the method. These findings support the validity of the proposed simple method, convenient for field use, to determine power, force, velocity properties, and mechanical effectiveness in sprint running.


Acceleration; evaluation; lower limb explosive capabilities; maximal performance; ratio of force application; sprint mechanics

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