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Strength, power and speed qualities in english junior elite rugby league players

Kirkpatrick, J and Comfort, P 2013, 'Strength, power and speed qualities in english junior elite rugby league players' , Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27 (9) , pp. 2414-2419.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare strength, power, and speed characteristics of elite junior English rugby league forwards and backs. A squad of males under 20's (n = 24; age 18.70 ± 0.90 years; body mass 86.4 ± 9.93 kg; height 178.47 ± 6.97 cm) players from a Super League team performed a range of assessments, including 10-, 20-, and 40-m sprints; vertical jump; and 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press and 1-RM back squat. Independent t-tests revealed no significance between body mass and height (180.13 ± 7.65 cm, 176.83 ± 6.10 cm; p > 0.05) or body mass (90.08 ± 11.72 kg, 82.75 ± 6.28 kg; p > 0.05) for the forwards and backs, respectively. Backs were significantly quicker over the 10-m sprints (1.99 ± 0.60 seconds, 2.06 ± 0.10 seconds; p = 0.011), 20-m sprints (3.26 ± 0.70 seconds, 3.39 ± 0.17 seconds; p = 0.002), and 40-m sprints (5.55 ± 0.13 seconds, 5.80 ± 0.26 seconds; p = 0.0001) compared with the forwards. No significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed for the vertical jump performances between the forwards (50.58 ± 7.06 cm) and the backs (50.60 ± 5.02 cm). In addition, forwards demonstrated a higher 1RM bench press and 1RM back squat (110.00 ± 15.8 kg and 140.21 ± 26.21 kg) compared with the backs (101.67 ± 9.13 kg and 132.71 ± 9.38 kg), although this was not statistically significant (p > 0.05); when expressed relative to body mass the differences between forwards and backs was reduced further for both bench press (1.22 ± 0.10 kg/kg, 1.23 ± 0.08 kg/kg, respectively; p > 0.05) and back squat (1.61 ± 0.13 kg/kg, 1.56 ± 0.20 kg/kg, respectively; p > 0.05). In addition, relative squat strength demonstrated moderate inverse correlations between relative squat strength sprint times (r = -0.45, -0.46, and -0.44; p < 0.01) across 10, 20, and 40 m, respectively. These findings highlight the importance of maximizing squat strength in academy rugby league athletes and highlight that differences in sprint performance between positions may be attributable to the differences in relative strength levels between positions.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Publisher: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1064-8011
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr P Comfort
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2014 18:01
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:43
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/30987

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