Shuttle versus straight repeated-sprint ability tests and their relationship to anthropometrics and explosive muscular performance in elite handball players

BACKGROUND: This study assessed inter-relationships between shuttle and straight repeated-sprint ability tests and the relationship of each measure to anthropometric and explosive lower limb performance data in elite handball players. METHODS: Twenty-two elite male handball players (18.9±0.2 years; body mass: 83.3±1.1 kg, height: 1.79±2.30 m, body fat: 12.8±0.2%) completed tests that included a lower limb force-velocity test of peak power (Wpeak), jumping ability (squat and counter-movement jumps; SJ, CMJ), 1 repetition maximum (1-RM) half back squat, average sprint velocity over 5 m (V-5 m), peak velocity between 25-30 m (Vmax), and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), and anthropometric determinations of cross-sectional areas and muscle volumes for leg and thigh muscles. Data were compared with performance on two repeated sprint tests; the straight test (6 × 30 m [RSA30]) and the intermittent test (6×[2×15 m] shuttle sprints [RSA15]). RESULTS: V-5 m, 1-RM, and thigh and leg muscle cross-sectional areas and volumes showed relevant relationships to the shuttle RSA test (r2=0.5). The Yo-Yo IR1 explained the largest percentage of variance in RSA15 total time (60%), and V-5 m also explained 56% of the variance in RSA15 total time. RSA15% fatigue was only related to 1-RM (explained variance: 58%), and the RSA30 test showed no useful correlations with any of the investigated predictors. Multiple-regression analyses using all physical tests explained 91% of the variance in RSA15 total time (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The volume of the leg muscles seems important to power production and repeated sprints over distances of 15 m or less. RSA15 is related to muscular power, maximal strength, speed and endurance performance; however, the straight repeated sprint ability test is not, and thus does not seem relevant for the testing of handball players.
© Copyright 2018 The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Edizioni Minerva Medica. All rights reserved.

Subjects: test sprint acceleration handball relation anthropometry explosive strength
Notations: biological and medical sciences sport games training science
DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07551-X
Published in: The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Published: 2018
Volume: 58
Issue: 11
Pages: 1625-1634
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced