Utility of a Shortened Isometric Midthigh Pull Protocol for Assessing Rapid Force Production in Athletes

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Suarez, DG, Carroll, KM, Slaton, JA, Rochau, KG, Davis, MW, and Stone, MH. Utility of a shortened isometric midthigh pull protocol for assessing rapid force production in athletes. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2020-The purpose of this investigation was to determine the magnitude of difference, reliability, and relationship to performance of a shortened isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) protocol. Fourteen strength-trained men (age: 26.8 ± 5.0 years, height: 176.3 ± 6.9 cm, body mass: 86.8 ± 13.9 kg, and training age: 8.5 ± 6.9 years) performed 1-second (SHORT) and traditional (TRAD) IMTP protocols during consecutive weeks. Peak force (PF), instantaneous force (90 & 200 ms), rate of force development (RFD) (0-90 ms & 0-200 ms), and impulse (0-90 ms & 0-200 ms) from each protocol were collected. Paired samples t test and Hedge's g were calculated to determine the magnitude of difference in each variable between protocols. Within-session and between-session reliability was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficient, coefficient of variation, and 95% confidence intervals. Static jumps were performed to compare relationships of the IMTP variables from each protocol with jumping performance. There was no statistically significant (p > 0.05) difference in PF between the protocols (p = 0.345; g = -0.07). All early force-time variables were significantly higher in the SHORT protocol (p = <0.001-0.018; g = 0.38-0.79). The SHORT protocol resulted in more reliable RFD measures within-session. Correlations with jumping performance were mostly similar between protocols (r = 0.253-0.660). The SHORT IMTP protocol resulted in comparable PF values and considerably higher early force-time characteristics despite a restrained time to produce force and shorter rest. The SHORT protocol allows for an accurate assessment of rapid force-generating abilities while necessitating shorter collection periods than typical IMTP protocols.