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28.11.2016 | Review Article | Ausgabe 7/2017

Sports Medicine 7/2017

Methods of Power-Force-Velocity Profiling During Sprint Running: A Narrative Review

Sports Medicine > Ausgabe 7/2017
Matt R. Cross, Matt Brughelli, Pierre Samozino, Jean-Benoit Morin


The ability of the human body to generate maximal power is linked to a host of performance outcomes and sporting success. Power-force-velocity relationships characterize limits of the neuromuscular system to produce power, and their measurement has been a common topic in research for the past century. Unfortunately, the narrative of the available literature is complex, with development occurring across a variety of methods and technology. This review focuses on the different equipment and methods used to determine mechanical characteristics of maximal exertion human sprinting. Stationary cycle ergometers have been the most common mode of assessment to date, followed by specialized treadmills used to profile the mechanical outputs of the limbs during sprint running. The most recent methods use complex multiple-force plate lengths in-ground to create a composite profile of over-ground sprint running kinetics across repeated sprints, and macroscopic inverse dynamic approaches to model mechanical variables during over-ground sprinting from simple time-distance measures during a single sprint. This review outlines these approaches chronologically, with particular emphasis on the computational theory developed and how this has shaped subsequent methodological approaches. Furthermore, training applications are presented, with emphasis on the theory underlying the assessment of optimal loading conditions for power production during resisted sprinting. Future implications for research, based on past and present methodological limitations, are also presented. It is our aim that this review will assist in the understanding of the convoluted literature surrounding mechanical sprint profiling, and consequently improve the implementation of such methods in future research and practice.

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