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Purpose:

To investigate performance and the associated physiological and biomechanical responses during upper-body repeated-sprint work.

Methods:

Twelve male ice sledge hockey players from the Norwegian national team performed eight 30-m sprints with start every 30 s and an active recovery between sprints. Time was captured every 10 m by photocells, cycle length and rate were determined by video analyses, and heart rate and blood lactate concentration were measured by conventional methods.

Results:

The percentage sprint decrement was 7% over the 8 trials, with significant reductions in performance from the previous trial already on the second trial (all P < .05). Furthermore, cycle rate was reduced by 9% over the 8 trials (P < .05). Similar changes in performance and kinematic patterns were evident for all 10-m phases of the sprints. Heart rate gradually increased to 94% of maximal (178 ± 10 beats/min) over the 8 trials, and the mean reduction in heart rate was 7 ± 2 beats/min during the 22–24 s of active recovery for all trials (all P < .05). The blood lactate concentration increased to the athletes’ maximal levels over the 8 sprints (P < .05).

Conclusions:

This is the first study to investigate performance, physiological, and biomechanical aspects of self-propelled upperbody repeated-sprint work. The observed sprint decrement over the 8 trials was associated with reductions in cycle rates and high physiological demands. However, no kinematic and physiological characteristics were significantly correlated to repeated-sprint ability or the sprint decrement.

Sandbakk, Ettema, and Skovereng are with the Dept of Human Movement Science, and Bucher Sandbakk, the K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Spencer is with the Norwegian Research Center for Training and Performance, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo, Norway. Welde is with the Dept of Sport and Physical Education, Nord-Trøndelag University College, Levanger, Norway.