Sie sind auf Seite 1von 12

See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.


A 6-Week Base Strength Training Program for Sprint Acceleration

Development and Foundation for Future Progression in Amateur Athletes

Article  in  Strength and conditioning journal · November 2017

DOI: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000341


0 1,414

1 author:

Robert George Lockie

California State University, Fullerton


Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:

Change of direction and agility tests: Challenging our current measures of performance View project


All content following this page was uploaded by Robert George Lockie on 07 November 2017.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.

A 6-Week Base Strength
Training Program for
Sprint Acceleration
Development and
Foundation for Future
Progression in Amateur
Robert G. Lockie, PhD
Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California

ABSTRACT PROGRESSED WITH DIFFERENT provided a detailed discussion as to the

EXERCISES TO FURTHER potential influence of strength on sprint
ENHANCE THE FORCE–VELOCITY performance, including acceleration.
PROFILE. Also, two systematic reviews of the
literature document a general consen-
SPRINT ACCELERATION IN AMA- sus that strength training would posi-
TEUR ATHLETES. THIS PROGRAM INTRODUCTION tively influence linear speed (11,72).
CAN CONCURRENTLY ENHANCE trength training is generally de-

However, without correct im-
BASE LOWER-BODY STRENGTH signed to make an athlete over- plementation, the strength gained from
AND 10-M SPEED AND INCORPO- come a resistance greater than resistance training may not crossover
RATES THE BACK SQUAT, STEP- what they will encounter under com- to sport-specific performance, includ-
UP, CABLE HIP FLEXION, AND petitive conditions (85). The develop- ing sprint acceleration.
SMITH MACHINE CALF RAISE. ment of strength aids in building the
Strength serves as a foundation for
LOADS CAN BE INCREASED FROM foundation to support further sport-
power, of which sprint performance
APPROXIMATELY 75–90% OF ONE specific training within an athlete. For
is also dependent (5,7,25,37). Power
REPETITION-MAXIMUM OVER THE example, sprinting requires a high
can be defined as the rate of doing
COURSE OF THE PROGRAM. THE degree of power, and this is dependent
work and can be calculated by multi-
on strength and force development
plying force and velocity (25,33,79). It
(85). This is particularly important dur-
SUPPORTING SCIENTIFIC EVI- has been noted in the literature that the
ing acceleration, which is a sprint with
DENCE FOR THEIR USE. ADDI- ability to express a high rate of force
increasing velocity, generally occurring
over distances from approximately 0–
20 m in a linear sprint from a stationary KEY WORDS:
GRAM COULD BE MODIFIED AND start (45). When an athlete accelerates, back squat; calf raise;
the ability to generate force against the linear speed; lower-body strength;
Address correspondence to Robert G. Lockie, ground is needed to overcome the step-ups; team sports inertia of body mass. Lockie (45)

Copyright  National Strength and Conditioning Association 1

Strength and Conditioning Journal |

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Resistance Training Program for Sprint Acceleration

development is often related to an in- (23) profiled an age range of 18–42 strength and conditioning professional
dividual’s strength or ability to express years for this type of population. Fur- to specifically target both strength and
a high magnitude of force (1,33,76). As thermore, amateur or semiprofessional linear speed adaptations. The training
a result, it is important for athletes at all athletes generally have lower strength background of the amateur athlete
levels of competition to attempt to levels when compared to professional could allow for a more conducive
develop a base of strength, especially athletes (2), and thus will stand to gain transfer of enhanced strength to sprint
for those that participate in sports that more benefits to sprint performance performance (7). Furthermore, the
require the expression of power. Baker from an effective resistance training establishment of a base level of
(1) recommended that once a strength program that can improve strength strength is essential for any attempts
plateau is reached, the training empha- (7). In addition to explaining the 6- to training into more power-based or
sis can shift toward more power-based week training program, methods for high-velocity movements in subse-
exercises, such as weightlifting and adapting the program, and other exam- quent training blocks (33). Although
plyometrics. However, a high base of ple exercises, will be provided. traditional strength exercises are not
strength is required for an individual to always viewed as being “movement-
best achieve benefits from power train- specific” for sports, there are core lifts
ing (33). As a result, developing an TRAINING THE AMATEUR ATHLETE
that can be used to train for sprint
effective base strength training pro- Professional athletes have the advan- acceleration. For example, the back
gram is important for the amateur ath- tage of being able to incorporate differ- squat is one exercise that typically
lete. A program that can concurrently ent modalities of training throughout forms a foundation for strength train-
enhance absolute and relative lower- the week, often completing multiple ing programs that enhance linear speed
body strength, and enhancing sprint sessions within one day (71). Amateur (11,28,72). Furthermore, there are also
acceleration performance, would be athletes do not always have this oppor- lifts that involve movements similar to
of great benefit to amateur team sport tunity because of other responsibilities the sprinting gait pattern that can be
athletes who are attempting to prog- including school, occupation, and fam- incorporated into resistance training
ress to semiprofessional or professional ily commitments. This means that for athletes (25,59,68,73,78). Some of
levels of play. This would also serve as when compared to elite athletes who these have been incorporated into the
a foundation for further power devel- are able to compete in their sport pro- current program.
opment as a training regimen pro- fessionally, amateur athletes will tend
gresses across a season. to demonstrate lower levels of strength PROGRAM DESIGN
and power (2). Furthermore, amateur The training program presented in this
This article will provide an example of sports tend to be reflective of the lack
a 6-week resistance training program article is designed to improve lower-
of funding and training resources avail- body strength and sprint acceleration
that was used to enhance sprint perfor- able to the athlete (18). Chapman et al. (49) and can be viewed in Table 1. Four
mance over 10 meters (m) in amateur (18) noted that regardless of these chal- exercises form the basis of the pro-
male field sport athletes. The ability to lenges and the competitive level of the gram. These are:
accelerate over 10 m is essential to athlete, it is important for strength and  Back squat
many team sport athletes because this conditioning professionals to make  Step-ups
distance encapsulates the distance cov- effective use of the limited time and  Cable hip flexion
ered in many sprints performed during resources available. As a result, training  Standing calf raise
match-play, such as for Australian programs for amateur athletes should To standardize the program, the ex-
football (26), rugby union (30), and be as efficient as possible. If a certain ercises are completed in this order
soccer (6). This program was part of training modality or program can pro- for each training session. The pro-
a larger study analyzing sprint acceler- vide concurrent improvements in dif- gram involves 2 bilateral contact ex-
ation training methods that was previ- ferent physiological capacities, this ercises (back squat, standing calf
ously published (49). However, the would be of great benefit to an amateur raises), and 2 unilateral contact exer-
scientific basis for the program will athlete. cises (step-ups, cable hip flexion).
be explained in greater detail in this In elite athletes, it is difficult to see The inclusion of unilateral activities
article. This is pertinent for the amateur a direct influence of changes in is pertinent because sprinting is
athlete because they have limited time strength to a physiological capacity a cyclic activity and the athlete will
in which to foster physiological adap- such as linear speed (7,62). For the predominantly be in single-leg sup-
tations. Amateur athletes are not paid amateur athlete, however, a correctly port during the running action
for sports participation, and as a result, structured resistance training program (48,81). The inclusion of these
may be poor as they may have to bal- can enhance both lower-body strength single-leg exercises holds true to the
ance a full-time career (23). In a detailed and sprint performance (22,29,49). ideal of specificity and has been rec-
analysis of amateur rugby players from This means that a resistance training ommended for speed development
New Zealand, Cresswell and Eklund program can be designed by the training (25,59,68,73,78).

2 VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Table 1 strength and conditioning professio-
Six-week resistance training program for sprint acceleration development in nals that use this program could expect
amateur athletes enhancements in strength and sprint
acceleration in their amateur athletes.
Week Exercise Sets 3 Repetitions %1RM This is especially pertinent following
1 Back Squat 3 3 10–12 75 the recommendations of Haff and
Nimphius (33). Haff and Nimphius
Barbell Step-up 3 3 10–12 75 (33) suggested that a back squat of 2
Cable Hip Flexion 3 3 10–12 75 3 body mass should be a minimum
strength requirement for individuals
Smith Machine Calf Raise 3 3 10–12 75 to best achieve benefits from power-
2 Back Squat 3 3 8–10 75–80 specific training. Because the subjects
from Lockie et al. (49) did not have this
Barbell Step-up 3 3 8–10 75–80 level of strength, they (and other ama-
Cable Hip Flexion 3 3 8–10 75–80 teur athletes with similar strength lev-
els) arguably would be best served from
Smith Machine Calf Raise 3 3 8–10 75–80
building a higher level of base strength
3 Back Squat 336 80–85 before targeting other aspects of the
force–velocity relationship. This also
Barbell Step-up 336 80–85
provides a foundation as to how and
Cable Hip Flexion 336 80–85 why this program could be useful for
strength and conditioning practitioners
Smith Machine Calf Raise 336 80–85
who train amateur athletes who play
4 Back Squat 335 80–85 sports requiring power.
Barbell Step-up 335 80–85 This training program was conducted
over 6 weeks, with 2 sessions per week.
Cable Hip Flexion 335 80–85
A 6-week mesocycle is a sufficient time
Smith Machine Calf Raise 335 80–85 period to induce changes in lower-
body strength and linear speed
5 Back Squat 334 90
(46,49,63). A meta-analysis of strength
Barbell Step-up 334 90 and power training research suggested
that 2 days a week of specific strength
Cable Hip Flexion 334 90
training was optimal in eliciting gains
Smith Machine Calf Raise 334 90 in strength (64). The training program
6 Back Squat 334 90 featured a decrease in repetitions over
the course of the program to corre-
Barbell Step-up 334 90 spond with an increase in load. Inter-
Cable Hip Flexion 334 90 estingly, following a meta-analysis of
the literature, Seitz et al. (72) stated
Smith Machine Calf Raise 334 90 that improvements in linear speed
%1RM 5 percentage of one-repetition maximum. occurred independent of the average
load intensity. The program adhered
to the principle of progressive overload
and followed a linear periodization
Lockie et al. (49) documented that this increase in 0–5 and 0–10 m velocity
model (4,77), with a weekly load
program was effective at improving and a large increase for 5–10 m
increase of between 5 and 10%. The
lower-body strength and velocity in velocity. These data illustrate that
degree of load increase per week was
the 0–5, 5–10, and 0–10 m sprint in- there were meaningful improvements
tervals in amateur male field sport in strength and sprint acceleration (13), dependent on the individual, and
athletes (Table 2). Using the effect size and this was particularly true for the whether they could attain the target
guidelines from Hopkins (34), there 10-m sprint intervals. It should be repetitions. Three working sets are
were moderate changes in absolute acknowledged that the effects this pro- allocated for each exercise because this
strength as measured by a 3-repetition gram may have on other aspects of has been shown to be suitable for elic-
maximum (3RM) back squat and rela- performance, such as change-of- iting gains in maximal strength (42).
tive strength (3RM$body mass21). direction speed and agility, cannot be For a warm-up, athletes completed at
There were very large effects for the categorically stated. Nevertheless, least one set of 15 repetitions at

Strength and Conditioning Journal |

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Resistance Training Program for Sprint Acceleration

Table 2 trapezius, just below the cervical ver-

Changes in absolute and relative strength as measured by the 3-repetition tebrae (Figure 1A). The bar should
maximum (3RM) back squat, and sprint times over 0–5, 5–10, and 0–10 m be held with a closed grip, with the
following the resistance training program in amateur field sport athletes hands placed outside the shoulders.
The feet should be placed approxi-
Pretest Posttest % Change Effect Size mately shoulder-width apart, with
3RM Back Squat (kg) 114.40 6 26.80 131.73 6 23.54 15 0.69 the toes pointed outwards because
of external rotation at the hip.
Relative 3RM 1.48 6 0.27 1.70 6 0.26 15 0.83  The athlete descends to a position
where the anterior surface of the
0–5 m Velocity (m$s21) 3.68 6 0.13 4.03 6 0.16 10 2.40 thighs is parallel with the ground
(Figure 1B). The athlete should not
5–10 m Velocity 6.55 6 0.11 6.76 6 0.18 3 1.41
(m$s21) allow their back to round during the
exercise. To facilitate this, the athletes
0–10 m Velocity 4.72 6 0.13 5.05 6 0.14 7 2.44 should be instructed to keep their head
(m$s21) and chest up throughout the exercise.
Lockie et al. (49).  When rising from the bottom posi-
tion, athletes are directed to push
through their heels and to not come
approximately 60% of one-repetition both the hip and the knee. Indeed, the up on their toes. The head and chest
maximum (1RM) for each exercise, vastus muscles, gluteus maximus, and are to remain up during this phase.
before progressing into the 3 working hamstrings are all active during the The finish position involves the ath-
sets. The first 2 weeks of the program back squat (17), and these muscles lete standing upright without locking
featured higher repetition ranges (8–12 are essential for force development the knees.
repetitions per set). This was to accus- during the sprint step (38,57,75).
tom the athletes to the exercises used in Although high levels of strength will STEP-UPS
this program. The repetition ranges in not always directly correlate with lin- Step-ups are a movement-specific
the last 4 weeks of the program use from ear speed (3,24), absolute and relative exercise for acceleration and have been
3–6 repetitions per set. The decrease in strength as measured by the back squat recommended for use in speed
repetitions over the 6 weeks of this pro- in a range of populations has been enhancement training (59). This exer-
gram allowed for progressive overload, related to sprint acceleration. For cise places a great deal of stress on the
by increasing the resistance and the example, absolute 1RM squat corre- muscles involved in hip extension. The
intensity of the exercises. Repetition lated with 10-m (correlation coefficient range of motion at the hip will rise with
ranges were used as the intensity guide [r] 5 20.94) sprint times in male soc- sprint velocity, and this is in part driven
for athletes (as opposed to percentages cer players (83). Relative 1RM squat by the actions of the muscles involved
of 1RM) because all athletes had a back- strength has been associated with in hip extension (31,51). Furthermore,
ground of resistance training. Previous times over 10 m (r 5 20.87) in female a strong extension of the support leg
research has found that resistance- softball players (61) and recreationally has been recommended for optimal
trained and strength-trained athletes trained men (19) and 9.14 m (r 5 acceleration performance (25,41,80),
can complete more repetitions than 20.54) in collegiate male football play- and it has been stated that hip exten-
untrained athletes at the same percent- ers (54). Although this is not a cause- sors are the prime movers for acceler-
age of 1RM load (65). Therefore, by and-effect relationship, these studies ation (9,75). The hamstrings are also
using repetition ranges as the guide, this collectively highlight the value of active in stepping exercises such as
ensured that athletes lifted loads com- incorporating the back squat into the loaded step-up used in this pro-
mensurate with the intensities required a training program designed to gram (74,82). Notably, Simenz et al.
in the program. Rest periods between improve sprint acceleration. (74) found that the biceps femoris is
sets were held to approximately 2– required to be highly active during
3 minutes because longer rest periods Execution of the back squat. the eccentric phase of a loaded step-
have been shown to lead to greater in-  The back squat in this program is up. This is pertinent given the impor-
creases in lower-limb strength (66). performed within the confines of tance for the hamstring muscles to be
a power rack. The stops should be eccentrically strong to help prevent
BACK SQUAT set at a level just below each individ- injury during maximal sprinting (70).
The back squat is a beneficial exercise ual athlete’s bottom position. Collectively, these studies highlight
for overall lower-body strength devel-  The athlete should begin the back the value of adopting the step-up as
opment largely because of the involve- squat by un-racking the bar and sup- a strength exercise in a training pro-
ment of the flexors and extensors for porting it on the mass of the gram for the amateur athlete.

4 VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
a greater step length can contribute
to faster sprint acceleration in athletes
(14–16,46–49). Further to this, the hip
flexors are an important muscle group
for increasing running speed (25,31,52),
and specific hip flexor training has been
found to not only increase hip flexor
strength, but also improve 36.6-m
sprint and 4 3 5.8-m shuttle run times
in college-aged men and women (27).
Additionally, Ronnestad et al. (67)
found that a seven-week strength pro-
gram that incorporated a hip flexion
exercise significantly improved the
0–10 m interval in a 40-m sprint com-
pleted by elite soccer players.

Execution of cable hip flexion.

 For this exercise, the low pulley on
a cable machine is attached to the
ankle of the athlete by a leather cuff.
 This leg is placed posterior to the
body, and the athlete supports them-
selves in a standing position with
a slight forward lean (Figure 3A).
 The knee is driven forward in a quick
and explosive manner until the thigh
is parallel with the ground
(Figure 3B), before returning with
control to the starting position.
 Correct sprint arm action, where the
Figure 1. The back squat start (A) and bottom depth (B) position. opposite arm to the leg is driven for-
ward simultaneously, should be
Execution of the step-up.  The athlete then steps down with  After completing the required num-
 Step-ups are performed with the the back leg by flexing at the hip ber of repetitions, the athlete should
bar held across the shoulders, in and knee and returns to the original position the cuff on the other leg and
the same manner as the back squat, standing position by placing front repeat the exercise.
and the athletes step up onto foot next to rear foot in the initial
a standard gym bench or step position. STANDING CALF RAISE
(the height of flat gym benches  The exercise is then repeated with Training the calves is of significance,
typically range from approxi- the other leg. because the lower leg complex is a crit-
mately 0.4–0.5 m). The start posi- ical lever for sprint performance
tion involves the athlete placing CABLE HIP FLEXION (8,38,44,55), and the muscles about
a foot flat on the bench or step Cable hip flexion is a movement- the ankle will aid the in attenuation
(Figure 2A). specific exercise that has been advo- of force during stance (35). Further-
 The athlete is instructed to push up cated for sprinting speed development more, the muscles that plantarflex the
with this leg by extending the hip (73,78). Great hip flexion relative to the ankle (e.g., the gastrocnemius, soleus,
and knee, and not with the trailing individual has been recommended for and peroneus longus) contribute to
leg on the ground. A slight degree of sprinting (41,79) because this could aid power generation during takeoff (10).
trunk flexion is recommended to the athlete in increasing step frequency The actions performed by the ankle
facilitate this action. (25) and lengthening their step (49). joint and muscles about the ankle can
 The finish position for each repeti- Although overstriding is not recom- be isolated within the calf raise move-
tion occurs when the athlete is sup- mended during acceleration in athletes ment, and increasing strength in the
ported on the bench with 2 feet from field-based sports (69), there are calves could improve the ability of
(Figure 2B). several studies that have shown that the muscles to absorb and propagate

Strength and Conditioning Journal |

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Resistance Training Program for Sprint Acceleration

end of the step to stretch the gastroc-

nemius/soleus complex (Figure 4A).
 The athlete then should push up
on their toes and fully contract
the gastrocnemius/soleus complex
(Figure 4B).


Although this program was effective in
improving the 10-m sprint perfor-
mance of amateur athletes (49), by
no means is this the only method to
improve acceleration. By applying the
concepts that governed the design of
this program, there are a number of
ways to adapt this program to match
the philosophies of the coach and the
requirements of the athlete. Some ex-
amples for alternative exercises are
shown in Table 3. The deadlift has also
been used as a core strength exercise in
strength programs leading to enhanced
linear speed (11,28,72), whereas the
front squat has been used as a condi-
tioning exercise to induce postactiva-
tion potentiation (60,84). Both of
these exercises would be potentially
suitable as a bilateral strength exercise
in lieu of the back squat.
Because of the importance of hip
extension within the sprint step
(9,41,75,80), the step-up should be
incorporated into the training pro-
gram. Although this exercise is per-
Figure 2. The step-up start (A) and top (B) position. formed with a barbell in this program
(Figure 2), dumbbells or kettlebells
could also be used. The hip thrust exer-
the load of the body during ground step to prevent it from moving dur- cise could also feature in resistance
contact when sprinting (40,50). Addi- ing the exercise. training programs targeting speed
tionally, Delecluse et al. (29) found  The bar of the Smith machine can be development because it recruits those
acceleration over the first 10 m in supported across the shoulders, muscles involved in extension of the
a 100-m sprint improved by 7% in below the cervical vertebrae and on hip (20). A 6-week hip thrust resistance
physical education students following the mass of the trapezius. A foam training program led to slight improve-
9 weeks of full-body resistance training, pad can be wrapped around the ments in 10-m and 20-m sprint times in
of which the calf raise was one the of bar to lessen the impact of the load adolescent male athletes (21). Because
exercises used. on the upper back. this was the only lower-body strength
 The hands should be wrapped exercise performed in this program
around the bar, outside the shoulders, (21), greater benefits to sprinting speed
Execution of the standing Smith with a closed grip. The balls of the could be expected if other strength ex-
machine calf raise. feet are placed on the edge of the step. ercises were included, such as those
 The standing calf raise exercise can The athlete should be instructed to shown in Tables 1 and 3. The hip thrust
be performed on a Smith machine, keep their legs straight (i.e., no knee or bridge exercise can also be per-
with the aid of an aerobic step (Fig- flexion) throughout the exercise. formed unilaterally (32,58), which
ure 4). For this program, a weight  To begin the exercise, the athlete could have some application to the
plate should be positioned on the should let their heels hang off the single-leg support required when

6 VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Figure 3. The cable hip flexion start (A) and top (B) position.

sprinting (48,81). A limitation of the because of the unilateral action of the to further enhance athletic perfor-
current program is that eccentric ham- lunge, have been recommended for mance in their athletes.
string strength is not specifically tar- speed training (25,39). The stationary
geted with an exercise that could and walking lunge, depending on the PROGRESSING THE FORCE–
isolate this action. As noted, eccentric space available in the training facility, VELOCITY RELATIONSHIP
hamstring strength is essential not just are both suitable options for a resis- As noted, strength is part of the foun-
from the aspect of sprint performance, tance training program that targets dation for power (1,33,76). Although it
but injury prevention as well (70). speed development. The walking lunge is outside of the scope of this article to
Dawes and Lentz (25) recommended also incorporates a horizontal force provide a yearly periodization plan for
exercises such as the Romanian dead- component (39,43), potentially making the amateur athlete, especially consid-
lift and traditional and assisted versions it more applicable to linear speed ering how work, study, and training
of the Nordic hamstring curl for accel- development. The calf raise can be demands will vary considerably across
eration development in nontrack ath- modified to a unilateral exercise (56), different populations of amateur ath-
letes. Each of these exercises leads to using the Smith machine or dumbbells, letes (18,23), it is still important for
high muscle activation of the ham- or even performed walking with dumb- the practitioner to understand how
bells. These exercises can be training could be progressed over the
string muscles (12,53) and could be
substituted for the bilateral Smith long term. Haff and Nimphius (33) pro-
useful as exercises to develop base
machine calf raise. Lastly, because the vided a detailed discussion of the
strength in the amateur athlete.
current program features 4 lower-body force–velocity relationship, and how
The cable hip flexion exercise is exercises, strength and conditioning different facets of the force–velocity
included in this program because it is coaches could also incorporate extra curve could be trained. For example,
a unilateral exercise that targets the hip exercises that target upper-body relatively weaker athletes can enhance
flexor muscle group (73,78). Lunges strength (e.g., bench press, barbell the velocity of movements simply by
also lead to the recruitment of muscles row) or lumbo-pelvic stability (e.g., enhancing maximal force development
responsible for flexing the hip (36), and abdominal and lower-back exercises) because the requisite strength levels for

Strength and Conditioning Journal |

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Resistance Training Program for Sprint Acceleration

for an amateur athlete that could be

used to enhance sprint acceleration.
As for the strength exercises, by no
means are these the only power exer-
cises that could be used to improve the
force–velocity profile of the amateur
athlete. Nonetheless, they are specific
examples that could be adopted by the
strength and conditioning practitioner
who works with amateur athletes.

This article presents an example of
a resistance training program that
incorporated the back squat, step-ups,
cable hip flexion and standing calf raise
and followed the principle of progres-
sive overload to improve 10-m sprint
acceleration performance. This pro-
gram would be of particular value for
the amateur athlete or those individu-
als that have limitations placed on
their training time because there were
concurrent improvements in sprint
acceleration and lower-body strength
when completed by amateur male field
sport athletes (49). Variations of these
exercises could also be used within
a resistance training program that tar-
gets sprint acceleration development,
Figure 4. The Smith machine standing calf raise start (A) and top (B) position. and a mixed methods approach could
be used to progress the program when
power becomes more of a focus (33). It
high power generation have yet to be within a resistance training program, should be acknowledged that even for
developed (33). In contrast, stronger which could be useful for the amateur amateur athletes, resistance training
athletes will need to do more specific athlete constrained by time availabili- will generally not be the only modality
power training to improve their high- ties. The reader is directed to Haff and used. At a minimum, team training ses-
velocity capabilities (1,7,33). Nimphius (33) for more detailed infor- sions including other training protocols
When the base strength levels for an mation about this approach to training. (e.g., skill-based training drills, small-
athlete reach an acceptable level, However, Table 4 provides some sided games, plyometrics, and free
a mixed methods approach to training example power exercises that could sprint training) will generally be com-
can be adopted. This means strength be substituted for more strength- pleted. The completion of these train-
and power exercises can be combined focused exercises in a training program ing modalities could lead to further

Table 3
Example strength exercise variations to the resistance training program
Exercise Variation 1 Variation 2 Variation 3

Back Squat Deadlift Front Squat Single-Leg Squats

Barbell Step-up Bilateral or Unilateral Hip Thrust Romanian Deadlift Nordic Hamstring Curls
Cable Hip Flexion Barbell/Dumbbell Lunge Barbell/Dumbbell Reverse Lunge Barbell/Dumbbell Walking Lunge
Smith machine Calf Smith machine Single-Leg Calf Dumbbell Single-Leg Calf Raise Dumbbell Walking Calf Raises
Raise Raise

8 VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
specific starts when completing a quick
Table 4 single. Sports Tech 7: 39–51, 2014.
Example power-based exercise progressions to the resistance training
program 16. Callaghan SJ, Lockie RG, Jeffriess MD, and
Nimphius S. The kinematics of faster
Exercise Variation 1 Variation 2 acceleration performance of the quick
single in experienced cricketers. J Strength
Back Squat Power Clean Jump Squats Cond Res 29: 2623–2634, 2015.

Barbell Step-up Split Jerk Clean and Jerk 17. Caterisano A, Moss RF, Pellinger TK,
Woodruff K, Lewis VC, Booth W, and
Cable Hip Flexion Snatch Pull Split Jumps Khadra T. The effect of back squat depth
on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and
Smith machine Calf Raise Ankle Hops Depth Jump
thigh muscles. J Strength Cond Res 16:
428–432, 2002.
18. Chapman DW, Newton MJ, and McGuigan
improvements in linear speed. Never- describe and compare playing rank among
MR. Efficacy of interval-based training on
theless, the resistance training program professional rugby league players.
conditioning of amateur field hockey
J Strength Cond Res 22: 153–158, 2008.
described here can be used to improve players. J Strength Cond Res 23: 712–
base lower-body strength and sprint 6. Bangsbo J, Nørregaard L, and Thorsø F. 717, 2009.
acceleration in the amateur athlete. Activity profile of competition soccer. Can J
19. Comfort P, Bullock N, and Pearson SJ. A
Sport Sci 16: 110–116, 1991.
comparison of maximal squat strength and
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: 7. Barr MJ, Sheppard JM, Agar-Newman DJ, 5-, 10-, and 20-meter sprint times, in
The author reports no conflicts of interest and Newton RU. Transfer effect of strength athletes and recreationally trained men.
and no source of funding. and power training to the sprinting J Strength Cond Res 26: 937–940, 2012.
kinematics of international rugby players.
20. Contreras B, Vigotsky AD, Schoenfeld BJ,
J Strength Cond Res 28: 2585–2596,
Beardsley C, and Cronin J. A comparison
Robert G. 2014.
of gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and
Lockie is an 8. Baxter JR, Novack TA, Van Werkhoven H, vastus lateralis electromyographic activity
assistant professor Pennell DR, and Piazza SJ. Ankle joint in the back squat and barbell hip thrust
in Strength and mechanics and foot proportions differ exercises. J Appl Biomech 31: 452–458,
Conditioning at between human sprinters and non-sprinters. 2015.
Proc Biol Sci 279: 2018–2024, 2012.
the Department 21. Contreras B, Vigotsky AD, Schoenfeld BJ,
of Kinesiology 9. Belli A, Kyröläinen H, and Komi PV. Beardsley C, McMaster DT, Reyneke JH,
Movement and power of lower limb joints in and Cronin JB. Effects of a six-week hip
within California
running. Int J Sports Med 23: 136–141, thrust vs. front squat resistance training
State University, 2002. program on performance in adolescent
Fullerton. males: A randomized controlled trial.
10. Bezodis IN, Kerwin DG, and Salo AI.
Lower-limb mechanics during the support J Strength Cond Res 31: 999–1008, 2017.
phase of maximum-velocity sprint running. 22. Cormie P, McGuigan MR, and Newton RU.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 40: 707–715, 2008. Adaptations in athletic performance after
11. Bolger R, Lyons M, Harrison AJ, and Kenny ballistic power versus strength training.
1. Baker D. Comparison of upper-body
IC. Sprinting performance and resistance- Med Sci Sports Exerc 42: 1582–1598,
strength and power between professional
based training interventions: A systematic 2010.
and college-aged rugby league players.
J Strength Cond Res 15: 30–35, 2001. review. J Strength Cond Res 29: 1146– 23. Cresswell SL and Eklund RC. Motivation
1156, 2015. and burnout among top amateur rugby
2. Baker D. Differences in strength and power
12. Bourne MN, Williams MD, Opar DA, Al players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37: 469–
among junior-high, senior-high, college-
Najjar A, Kerr GK, and Shield AJ. Impact of 477, 2005.
aged, and elite professional rugby league
players. J Strength Cond Res 16: 581– exercise selection on hamstring muscle 24. Cronin JB and Hansen KT. Strength and
585, 2002. activation. Br J Sports Med 51: 1021– power predictors of sports speed.
1028, 2017. J Strength Cond Res 19: 349–357, 2005.
3. Baker D and Nance S. The relation
between running speed and measures of 13. Buchheit M. The numbers will love you 25. Dawes J and Lentz D. Methods of
strength and power in professional rugby back in return—I promise. Int J Sports developing power to improve acceleration
league players. J Strength Cond Res 13: Physiol Perform 11: 551–554, 2016. for the non-track athlete. Strength Cond J
230–235, 1999. 14. Callaghan SJ, Jeffriess MD, Mackie SL, 34: 44–51, 2012.
4. Baker D, Wilson G, and Carlyon R. Jalilvand F, and Lockie RG. The impact of 26. Dawson B, Hopkinson R, Appleby B,
Periodization: The effect on strength of a rolling start on the sprint velocity and Stewart G, and Roberts C. Player
manipulating volume and intensity. acceleration kinematics of a quick single in movement patterns and game activities in
J Strength Cond Res 8: 235–242, 1994. regional first grade cricketers. Int J Perform the Australian Football League. J Sci Med
5. Baker DG and Newton RU. Comparison of Anal Sport 15: 794–808, 2015. Sport 7: 278–291, 2004.
lower body strength, power, acceleration, 15. Callaghan SJ, Lockie RG, and Jeffriess MD. 27. Deane RS, Chow JW, Tillman MD, and
speed, agility, and sprint momentum to The acceleration kinematics of cricket- Fournier KA. Effects of hip flexor training on

Strength and Conditioning Journal |

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Resistance Training Program for Sprint Acceleration

sprint, shuttle run, and vertical jump 41. Korchemny R. A new concept for sprint Muscle activation during various hamstring
performance. J Strength Cond Res 19: start and acceleration training. New Stud exercises. J Strength Cond Res 28: 1573–
615–621, 2005. Athlet 7: 65–72, 1992. 1580, 2014.
28. Delecluse C. Influence of strength training 42. Kraemer WJ. A series of studies—the 54. McBride JM, Blow D, Kirby TJ, Haines TL,
on sprint running performance: Current physiological basis for strength training in Dayne AM, and Triplett NT. Relationship
findings and implications for training. American football: Fact over philosophy. between maximal squat strength and five,
Sports Med 24: 147–156, 1997. J Strength Cond Res 11: 131–142, 1997. ten, and forty yard sprint times. J Strength
29. Delecluse C, Van Coppenolle H, Willems E, 43. Kritz M, Cronin J, and Hume P. Using the Cond Res 23: 1633–1636, 2009.
Van Leemputte M, Diels R, and Goris M. body weight forward lunge to screen an 55. McFarlane B. A look inside the
Influence of high-resistance and high- athlete’s lunge pattern. Strength Cond J biomechanics and dynamics of speed. Natl
velocity training on sprint performance. Med 31: 15–24, 2009. Strength Cond Assoc J 9: 35–41, 1987.
Sci Sports Exerc 27: 1203–1209, 1995. 44. Kuitunen S, Komi PV, and Kyrolainen H. 56. McMahon JJ, Comfort P, and Pearson S.
30. Deutsch MU, Kearney GA, and Rehrer NJ. Knee and ankle joint stiffness in sprint Lower limb stiffness: Considerations for
Time-motion analysis of professional rugby running. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34: 166– female athletes. Strength Cond J 34: 70–
union players during match-play. J Sports 173, 2002. 73, 2012.
Sci 25: 461–472, 2007. 45. Lockie RG. The effects of linear and 57. Mero A and Komi PV. Electromyographic
31. Dorn TW, Schache AG, and Pandy MG. change-of-direction speed training on the activity in sprinting at speeds ranging from
Muscular strategy shift in human running: sprint performance of young Adults. In: sub-maximal to supra-maximal. Med Sci
Dependence of running speed on hip and Physical Activity Effects on the Sports Exerc 19: 266–274, 1987.
ankle muscle performance. J Exp Biol 215: Anthropological Status of Children, Youth
58. Mike J, Kerksick CM, and Kravitz L. How to
1944–1956, 2012. and Adults. Eminivic F and Dopsaj M, eds.
incorporate eccentric training into
Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers,
32. Garcı́a-Vaquero MP, Moreside JM, a resistance training program. Strength
2016. pp. 71–116.
Brontons-Gil E, Peco-González N, and Cond J 37: 5–17, 2015.
Vera-Garcia FJ. Trunk muscle activation 46. Lockie RG, Murphy AJ, Callaghan SJ, and
59. Morrow LJ. Single leg strength: Its
during stabilization exercises with single Jeffriess MD. Effects of sprint and
relationship to speed enhancement. Natl
and double leg support. J Electromyogr plyometrics training on field sport
acceleration technique. J Strength Cond Strength Cond Assoc J 8: 64–65, 1986.
Kines 22: 398–406, 2012.
Res 28: 1790–1801, 2014. 60. Needham RA, Morse CI, and Degens H.
33. Haff GG and Nimphius S. Training The acute effect of different warm-up
principles for power. Strength Cond J 34: 47. Lockie RG, Murphy AJ, Jeffriess MD, and
Callaghan SJ. Step kinematic predictors of protocols on anaerobic performance in
2–12, 2012. elite youth soccer players. J Strength Cond
short sprint performance in field sport
34. Hopkins WG. How to interpret changes in athletes. Serb J Sports Sci 7: 71–77, Res 23: 2614–2620, 2009.
an athletic performance test. Sportscience 2013. 61. Nimphius S, McGuigan MR, and Newton
8: 1–7, 2004. RU. Relationship between strength, power,
48. Lockie RG, Murphy AJ, Schultz AB,
35. Hunter JP, Marshall RN, and McNair PJ. Jeffriess MD, and Callaghan SJ. Influence speed, and change of direction
Relationships between ground reaction of sprint acceleration stance kinetics on performance of female softball players.
force impulse and kinematics of sprint- velocity and step kinematics in field sport J Strength Cond Res 24: 885–895, 2010.
running acceleration. J Appl Biomech 21: athletes. J Strength Cond Res 27: 2494– 62. Nimphius S, McGuigan MR, and Newton
31–43, 2005. 2503, 2013. RU. Changes in muscle architecture and
36. Jakobsen MD, Sundstrup E, Andersen CH, 49. Lockie RG, Murphy AJ, Schultz AB, Knight performance during a competitive season
Aagaard P, and Andersen LL. Muscle TJ, and Janse de Jonge XAK. The effects of in female softball players. J Strength Cond
activity during leg strengthening exercise different speed training protocols on sprint Res 26: 2655–2666, 2012.
using free weights and elastic resistance: acceleration kinematics and muscle 63. Paulsen G, Myklestad D, and Raastad T.
Effects of ballistic vs controlled strength and power in field sport athletes. The influence of volume of exercise on early
contractions. Hum Mov Sci 32: 65–78, J Strength Cond Res 26: 1539–1500, adaptations to strength training. J Strength
2013. 2012. Cond Res 17: 115–120, 2003.
37. Johnson MD and Buckley JG. Muscle 50. Lorenz D. Facilitating power development 64. Peterson MD, Rhea MR, and Alvar BA.
power patterns in the mid-acceleration in the recovering athlete: Triple extension in Maximizing strength development in
phase of sprinting. J Sports Sci 19: 263– rehabilitation. Strength Cond J 38: 48–50, athletes: A meta-analysis to determine the
272, 2001. 2016. dose-response relationship. J Strength
38. Jonhagen S, Ericson MO, Nemeth G, and 51. Mann RA and Hagy J. Biomechanics of Cond Res 18: 377–382, 2004.
Eriksson E. Amplitude and timing of walking, running, and sprinting. Am J 65. Pick J and Becque MD. The relationship
electromyographic activity during sprinting. Sports Med 8: 345–350, 1980. between training status and intensity on
Scand J Med Sci Spor 6: 15–21, 1996. muscle activation and relative submaximal
52. Mann RA, Moran GT, and Dougherty SE.
39. Keogh J. Lower-body resistance training: Comparative electromyography of the lifting capacity during the back squat.
Increasing functional performance with lower extremity in jogging, running, and J Strength Cond Res 14: 175–181, 2000.
lunges. Strength Cond J 21: 67–72, 1999. sprinting. Am J Sports Med 14: 501–510, 66. Robinson JM, Stone MH, Johnson RL,
40. Korchemny R. Training with the objective to 1986. Penland CM, Warren BJ, and Lewis RD.
improve stride length. Part II. Natl Strength 53. McAllister MJ, Hammond KG, Schilling BK, Effects of different weight training exercise/
Cond Assoc J 10: 61–64, 1988. Ferreria LC, Reed JP, and Weiss LW. rest intervals on strength, power, and high

10 VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
intensity exercise endurance. J Strength sprint performance: A systematic review 79. Triplett NT, Erickson TM, and McBride JM.
Cond Res 9: 216–221, 1995. with meta-analysis. Sports Med 44: 1693– Power associations with running speed.
67. Ronnestad BR, Kvamme NH, Sunde A, and 1702, 2014. Strength Cond J 34: 29–33, 2012.
Raastad T. Short-term effects of strength 73. Sheppard JM. Strength and conditioning 80. van Ingen Schenau GJ, de Koning JJ, and
and plyometric training on sprint and jump exercise selection in speed development. de Groot G. Optimisation of sprinting
performance in professional soccer Strength Cond J 25: 26–30, 2003. performance in running, cycling and speed
players. J Strength Cond Res 22: 773– 74. Simenz CJ, Garceau LR, Lutsch BN, skating. Sports Med 17: 259–275, 1994.
780, 2008. Suchomel TJ, and Ebben WP. 81. Weyand PG, Sternlight DB, Bellizzi MJ, and
68. Santana JC. Single-leg training for 2- Electromyographical analysis of lower Wright S. Faster top running speeds are
legged sports: Efficacy of strength extremity muscle activation during achieved with greater ground forces not
development in athletic performance. variations of the loaded step-up exercise. more rapid leg movements. J Appl Physiol
Strength Cond J 23: 35–37, 2001. J Strength Cond Res 26: 3398–3405, 89: 1991–1999, 2000.
69. Sayers M. Running techniques for field 2012. 82. Willett GM, Karst GM, Canney EM, Gallant
sport players. Sports Coach 23: 26–27, 75. Simonsen EB, Thomsen L, and Klausen K. D, and Wees JM. Lower limb EMG activity
2000. Activity of mono- and biarticular leg during selected stepping exercises. J Sport
70. Schache AG, Dorn TW, Blanch PD, Brown muscles during sprint running. Eur J Appl Rehabil 7: 102–111, 1998.
NA, and Pandy MG. Mechanics of the Physiol Occup Phys 54: 524–532, 1985. 83. Wisloff U, Castagna C, Helgerud J, Jones
human hamstring muscles during sprinting. 76. Stone MH, Moir G, Glaister M, and R, and Hoff J. Strong correlation of maximal
Med Sci Sports Exerc 44: 647–658, 2012. Sanders R. How much strength is squat strength with sprint performance and
71. Scott BR, Lockie RG, Davies SJG, Clark necessary? Phys Ther Sport 3: 88–96, vertical jump height in elite soccer players.
AC, Lynch DM, and Janse de Jonge XAK. 2002. Br J Sports Med 38: 285–288, 2004.
The physical demands of professional 77. Stone MH, O’Bryant H, and Garhammer J. 84. Yetter M and Moir GL. The acute effects of
soccer players during in-season field- A hypothetical model for strength training. heavy back and front squats on speed
based training and match-play. J Aust J Sports Med Phys Fitness 21: 342–351, during forty-meter sprint trials. J Strength
Strength Cond 22: 7–15, 2014. 1981. Cond Res 22: 159–165, 2008.
72. Seitz LB, Reyes A, Tran TT, Saez de 78. Symons RD. Event-specific exercises for 85. Young W. The planning of resistance
Villarreal E, and Haff GG. Increases in speed and jump related events in track and training for power sports. Natl Strength
lower-body strength transfer positively to field. Strength Cond 18: 64–65, 1996. Cond Assoc J 13: 26–29, 1991.

Strength and Conditioning Journal |

Copyright ª National Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
View publication stats