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  • Author: Eamonn P. Flanagan x
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Claire J. Brady, Andrew J. Harrison, Eamonn P. Flanagan, G. Gregory Haff and Thomas M. Comyns

Purpose: To examine the reliability and usefulness of the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) and isometric squat (ISqT) performed at the same knee and hip angles. The scores produced in each test were compared to determine the magnitude of differences between tests. Methods: Twenty-six male and female athletes (age, 23.6 [4.3] y; height, 1.75 [0.07] m; and body mass, 68.8 [9.7] kg) performed 2 maximal repetitions of the IMTP and ISqT following a specific warm-up. Results: Maximum force, absolute peak force (PF), relative PF, allometrically scaled PF, rate of force development (0–200 and 0–250 ms), and impulse (0–300 ms) were deemed reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] ≥.86 and coefficient of variation [CV] ≤9.4%) in the IMTP and ISqT based on predetermined criteria (ICC ≥.8 and CV ≤10%). Impulse (0–200 and 0–250 ms) was reliable in the ISqT (ICC ≥.92 and CV ≤9.9%). Participants produced significantly (P < .05) greater PF and impulse (0–300 ms) during the ISqT compared with the IMTP. When split by sex, female participants produced significantly greater PF (P = .042) during the ISqT, with no significant differences among male participants (P = .245). Both tests are capable of detecting changes in performance in maximum force and absolute PF. Conclusions: Both tests are reliable for non-time-dependent maximal strength measures when measured at the same knee and hip angles. The ISqT may be preferred when coaches want to test an athlete’s true maximum lower-limb strength, especially female athletes.

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Claire J. Brady, Andrew J. Harrison, Eamonn P. Flanagan, G. Gregory Haff and Thomas M. Comyns

Purpose: To examine the relationships between the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP), isometric squat (ISqT), and sprint acceleration performance in track-and-field sprinters and to determine whether there are differences between men and women. Methods: Fifteen male and 10 female sprinters performed 3 maximal-effort IMTPs, ISqTs, and 3 × 30-m sprints from blocks. Results: Among the men, the results showed significant negative correlations between IMTP and ISqT peak force; relative peak force; force at 100, 150, and 200 ms; rate of force development (0–150 and 0–200 ms); and impulse (0–200 ms) and 0- to 5-m time (r = −.517 to −.714; P < .05). IMTP impulse (B = −0.582, P = .023) and ISqT relative peak force (B = −0.606, P = .017) significantly predicted 0- to 5-m time. Among the women, no IMTP or ISqT variables significantly correlated with any sprint times. Men measured significantly higher than women for all IMTP measures except relative peak force. Men were significantly faster than women at all splits. When comparing measures of the ISqT, there were no significant differences between men and women. Conclusions: Variables measured during the IMTP and ISqT significantly correlated with 0- to 5-m sprint performance in male athletes. Isometric strength can have a sizable influence on 0- to 5-m time, but in some cases, the maximum effect could be very small.

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Thomas M. Comyns, Eamonn P. Flanagan, Sean Fleming, Evan Fitzgerald and Damian J. Harper

Purpose: To examine the interday reliability and usefulness of a reactive strength index (RSI) derived from a maximal 5-rebound jump test (5max RJT) and a maximal 10-rebound jump test (10/5 RJT). Methods: Twenty male field-sport athletes (24.5 [3.0] y, 1.78 [0.1] m, 84.9 [5.2] kg) and 15 female participants (21.1 [0.9] y, 1.65 [0.73] m, 62.0 [5.1] kg) performed 2 maximal repetitions of the 5max RJT and the 10/5 RJT on 2 testing days after a specific warm-up. A 1-wk period separated testing days, and these sessions were preceded by a familiarization session. RSI was calculated by dividing jump height (in meters) by contact time (in seconds). The 5max RJT and the 10/5 RJT trial with the highest RSI on each testing day were used for reliability and usefulness analysis. Results: Both tests were deemed reliable for determining RSI for male, female, and pooled male and female cohorts, as the intraclass correlation coefficients were ≥.80 and the coefficient of variation was ≤10%. Only the 5max RJT was rated as “good” at detecting the smallest worthwhile change in performance for female athletes (smallest worthwhile change: 0.10 > typical error: 0.07). The 5max RJT for men and the 10/5 RJT for men and women were rated “good” in detecting a moderate change in performance only. Conclusions: Both tests are reliable for the determination of RSI, but the usefulness of the tests in detecting the smallest worthwhile change is questionable.