Relationship of Peak Isometric Strength to Rate of Force Development Among Collegiate Track and Field Athletes

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Explosive strength, a function of rate of force development (RFD), is a primary determinant for the amount of peak force that can be produced in critical sport performance time periods ( e.g. foot contact time). Evidence indicates that maximum strength and RFD are correlated. However, the characteristics of this relationship are not well established among athletes. This study examined the relationship of peak isometric force (IPF) and RFD from a mid-thigh pull, among male and female track and field athletes. Athletes were 12 sprinters (S), 10 jumpers (JP) and 12 cross-country runners (XC). Force-time curve analysis was conducted for each (2 trials) isometric pull and averaged for analyses. IPF and RFD from 0 - 200 ms were determined from appropriate curves. IPFs were normalized using an allometric (IPFa) scaling equation: absolute force/ (body mass (kg)0.67). ICCs were previously shown to be > 0.9. Relationships were established with Pearson's r; statistical differences with a Bonferroni adjusted t-Test. IPF, IPFa and RFD were greater in males than females for S and JP but not for XC. IPF, IPFa and RFD were greater for S and JP compared to XC. Similar relationships of IPF to RFD were noted among groups S(r = 0.85), JP (r = 0.87), XC (r = 0.88). Among males, n = 19, the relationship ofIPF to RFD was r = 0.89 and was somewhat higher compared to females, n = 15, (r = 0.78). Overall (n = 34) relationship between IPF and RFD was r = 0.90. These data indicate a strong relationship between maximum strength and "explosiveness" that is independent.


Birmingham, AL

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