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Optimal Elastic Cord Assistance for Sprinting in Collegiate Women Soccer Players

Bartolini, J Albert; Brown, Lee E; Coburn, Jared W; Judelson, Daniel A; Spiering, Barry A; Aguirre, Nick W; Carney, Keven R; Harris, Kenten B

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 1263-1270
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318215f575
Original Research

Bartolini, JA, Brown, LE, Coburn, JW, Judelson, DA, Spiering, BA, Aguirre, NW, Carney, KR, and Harris, KB. Optimal elastic cord assistance for sprinting in collegiate women soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1263-1270, 2011-Overspeed exercises are commonly integrated into a training program to help athletes perform at a speed greater than what they are accustomed to when unassisted. However, the optimal assistance for maximal sprinting has not been determined. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal elastic cord assistance for sprinting performance. Eighteen collegiate women soccer players completed 3 testing sessions, which consisted of a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 5 randomized experimental conditions of 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% body weight assistance (BWA). In all BWA sessions, subjects wore a belt while attached to 2 elastic cords and performed 2 maximal sprints under each condition. Five minutes of rest was given between each sprint attempt and between conditions. Split times (0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, and 0-20 yd) for each condition were used for analysis. Results for 0-20 yd demonstrated a significant main effect for condition. Post hoc comparisons revealed that as BWA increased, sprint times decreased up to 30% BWA (0%: 3.20 ± 0.12 seconds; 10%: 3.07 ± 0.09 seconds; 20%: 2.96 ± 0.07 seconds; 30%: 2.81 ± 0.08 seconds; 40%: 2.77 ± 0.10 seconds); there was no difference between 30 and 40% BWA. There was also a main effect for condition when examining split times. Post hoc comparisons revealed that as BWA increased, sprint times decreased up to 30% BWA for distances up to 15 yd. These results demonstrate that 30% of BWA with elastic cords appears optimal in decreasing sprint times in collegiate women soccer players for distances up to 15 yd.

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California

Address correspondence to Lee E. Brown,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association