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The Normalization of Explosive Functional Movements in a Diverse Population of Elite American Football Players

Robbins, Daniel W.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 995–1000
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822d53b7
Original Research

Robbins, DW. The normalization of explosive functional movements in a diverse population of elite American football players. J Strength Cond Res 26(4): 995–1000, 2012–The objective of this study was to investigate the need to normalize, for body mass, explosive functional tasks in a population exhibiting diverse body masses. Measures investigated in elite college American football players attending the National Football League's annual combine (n = 1,136) were the 9.1-, 18.3-, and 36.6-m sprints, vertical and horizontal jumps, 18.3-m shuttle, and 3-cone drill. To determine the relationship between body mass and performance outcomes, Pearson's correlation coefficients (r) were generated using log-transformed data. Task-specific allometric exponents, accounting for body mass, were also determined. The strength of the correlations suggests that sprint and jump abilities are associated with body mass, whereas change-of-direction ability is not. The determined allometric exponents range between 0.296 and −0.463 for the sprint and jump tasks and are −0.022 and −0.006 for the 18.3-m shuttle and the 3-cone drill, respectively. In populations exhibiting relatively large variations in body mass, normalization of sprint and jump abilities is recommended, whereas normalization of change-of-direction ability is unwarranted. Novel suggestions derived from the present research are that sprint and jump abilities in diverse populations warrant normalization and that physical attributes associated with explosive functional movements deserve attribute-specific consideration when contemplating normalization.

Canadian Sport Center-Pacific, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Research was conducted at the University of Sydney Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Research Lab.

Address correspondence to Daniel W. Robbins,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.