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Jean-Benoît Morin, George Petrakos, Pedro Jiménez-Reyes, Scott R. Brown, Pierre Samozino and Matt R. Cross

Background:

Sprint running acceleration is a key feature of physical performance in team sports, and recent literature shows that the ability to generate large magnitudes of horizontal ground-reaction force and mechanical effectiveness of force application are paramount. The authors tested the hypothesis that very-heavy loaded sled sprint training would induce an improvement in horizontal-force production, via an increased effectiveness of application.

Methods:

Training-induced changes in sprint performance and mechanical outputs were computed using a field method based on velocity–time data, before and after an 8-wk protocol (16 sessions of 10- × 20-m sprints). Sixteen male amateur soccer players were assigned to either a very-heavy sled (80% body mass sled load) or a control group (unresisted sprints).

Results:

The main outcome of this pilot study is that very-heavy sled-resisted sprint training, using much greater loads than traditionally recommended, clearly increased maximal horizontal-force production compared with standard unloaded sprint training (effect size of 0.80 vs 0.20 for controls, unclear between-groups difference) and mechanical effectiveness (ie, more horizontally applied force; effect size of 0.95 vs –0.11, moderate between-groups difference). In addition, 5-m and 20-m sprint performance improvements were moderate and small for the very-heavy sled group and small and trivial for the control group, respectively.

Practical Applications:

This brief report highlights the usefulness of very-heavy sled (80% body mass) training, which may suggest value for practical improvement of mechanical effectiveness and maximal horizontal-force capabilities in soccer players and other team-sport athletes.

Results:

This study may encourage further research to confirm the usefulness of very-heavy sled in this context.

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Matt R. Cross, Farhan Tinwala, Seth Lenetsky, Scott R. Brown, Matt Brughelli, Jean-Benoit Morin and Pierre Samozino

The assessment of horizontal force during overground sprinting is increasingly prevalent in practice and research, stemming from advances in technology and access to simplified yet valid field methods. As researchers search out optimal means of targeting the development of horizontal force, there is considerable interest in the effectiveness of external resistance. Increasing attention in research provides more information surrounding the biomechanics of sprinting in general and insight into the potential methods of developing determinant capacities. However, there is a general lack of consensus on the assessment and computation of horizontal force under resistance, which has resulted in a confusing narrative surrounding the practical applicability of loading parameters for performance enhancement. As such, the aim of this commentary was twofold: to provide a clear narrative of the assessment and computation of horizontal force in resisted sprinting and to clarify and discuss the impact of methodological approaches to subsequent training implementation. Horizontal force computation during resisted sleds, a common sprint-training apparatus in the field, is used as a test case to illustrate the risks associated with substandard methodological practices and improperly accounting for the effects of friction. A practical and operational synthesis is provided to help guide researchers and practitioners in selecting appropriate resistance methods. Finally, an outline of future challenges is presented to aid the development of these approaches.

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Beatriz Bachero-Mena, Miguel Sánchez-Moreno, Fernando Pareja-Blanco and Borja Sañudo

recently, it has been suggested that heavier loads (≈80% BM) should be used to improve sprinting acceleration, as they allow athletes to produce greater horizontal force in a forward-oriented body position throughout the sprint. 24 , 25 Morin et al 25 tested the use of very heavy sled load (80% BM) in

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Olfa Turki, Wissem Dhahbi, Sabri Gueid, Sami Hmaied, Marouen Souaifi and Riadh Khalifa

.0000000000000357 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000357 24378662 30. Winwood PW , Posthumus LR , Cronin JB , Keogh JW . The acute potentiating effects of heavy sled pulls on sprint performance . J Strength Cond Res . 2016 ; 30 ( 5 ): 1248 – 1254 . PubMed ID: 26439786 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001227 26439786

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David Rodríguez-Osorio, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok and Fernando Pareja-Blanco

, Petrakos G , Jimenez-Reyes P , Brown SR , Samozino P , Cross MR . Very-heavy sled training for improving horizontal force output in soccer players . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2017 ; 12 : 840 – 844 . PubMed ID: 27834560 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0444 27834560 10.1123/ijspp.2016-0444 15

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Brian J. McMorrow, Massimiliano Ditroilo and Brendan Egan

, Samozino P , Cross MR . Very-heavy sled training for improving horizontal-force output in soccer players . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2017 ; 12 : 840 – 844 . PubMed ID: 27834560 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0444 27834560 10.1123/ijspp.2016-0444 21. Cross MR , Lahti J , Brown SR , et

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Sergio Jiménez-Rubio, Archit Navandar, Jesús Rivilla-García and Victor Paredes-Hernández

.1177/0363546516687750 28263670 32. Morin JB , Petrakos G , Jimenez-Reyes P , Brown SR , Samozino P , Cross MR . Very-heavy sled training for improving horizontal-force output in soccer players . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2017 ; 12 ( 6 ): 840 – 844 . PubMed ID: 27834560 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0444 10

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Jorge Carlos-Vivas, Elena Marín-Cascales, Tomás T. Freitas, Jorge Perez-Gomez and Pedro E. Alcaraz

. Morin JB , Petrakos G , Jiménez-Reyes P , Brown SR , Samozino P , Cross MR . Very-heavy sled training for improving horizontal-force output in soccer players . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2017 ; 12 ( 6 ): 840 – 844 . PubMed ID: 27834560 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0444 10.1123/ijspp

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Christoph Szedlak, Matthew J. Smith, Bettina Callary and Melissa C. Day

session came when we had a discussion around the use of heavy sleds for acceleration work. Jordan appeared to experience a moment of enlightenment and stated, “I learn something new every day.” I could see that he appreciated the conversation, I think it allowed him to take ownership of the program a