Effects of an 8-Week Resisted Sprint Training Program on Ice Skating Speed, Acceleration, and Measures of Athletic Performance in Male Youth Ice Hockey Players
Recently, resisted sprint training has become a widely utilized modality to increase the running speed and acceleration of athletes necessitating fast movements for successful sport performance. However, ice hockey is a sport that requires speed and acceleration despite not being running-based. Yet, the impact of a longitudinal resisted sprint training intervention with known resistance on ice skating remains uninvestigated. Ice hockey players engage in both on-ice and overground training. It is presently unknown whether an on-ice resisted sprint training program is superior to an overground resisted sprint training program to increase measures of ice hockey performance. Thus, purposes of this study were: 1) to compare the effects of an on-ice resisted sprint training intervention to an overground resisted sprint training intervention and a control condition (engaging in their usual training routine) for maximal ice skating completion time and other athletic measures associated with ice skating speed and acceleration (broad jump distance, vertical jump performance, isometric force, and overground sprint completion time); 2) to identify changes in ice skating kinematics during maximal ice skating after participation in the respective training intervention; and 3) to examine changes in the magnitude of muscle activation of the knee flexors and extensors during maximal ice skating after participation in the respective training intervention. To achieve these study purposes, 24 competitive youth ice hockey players were equally divided into three groups: 1) on-ice resisted sprint training intervention group (on-ice RST); 2) overground resisted sprint training intervention group (overground RST); and 3) bodyweight training control group (control group). The two RST intervention groups engaged in an 8-week resisted sprint training program, using sled towing methods twice a week on non-consecutive days. Sled towing loads were individualized for maximal power expression with the number of resisted sprints varying depending on the intervention week. Dependent variables were tested before and after the 8-week intervention. A series of repeated ANOVAs with post-hoc comparisons were conducted. All training programs improved certain measures associated with ice skating completion time including broad jump distance [F(1,21) = 58.95; p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.75; large; 21%], vertical jump height [F(1,21) = 7.192; p = 0.014; ηp2 = 0.26; large; 7%], 9.14-meter completion time [F(1,21) = 7.445; p = 0.013; ηp2 = 0.271; large; 0.06 seconds; 3%], 36-meter completion time [F(1,21) = 10.406; p = 0.004; ηp2 = 0.342; large; 0.222 seconds; 4%], and 30-meter top speed completion time [F(1,21) = 15.256; p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.433; large; 0.387 seconds; 12%]. Only RST groups substantially altered components of their overground sprint profile components as well as skate profile components [Overground: (maximal horizontal force = 15 - 22%); (maximal horizontal power = 13 - 24%); (maximal ratio of force = 3 - 9%); On-ice: (horizontal force = 23 - 29%); (maximal ratio of force = 5 - 7%)], knee extensor muscle activity [(Overground = 3 - 5%); (On-ice = 10%)], and kinematics [on-ice step length = 5 - 6%]. RST groups displayed superior improvements across ice skating completion time tests, with the on-ice RST displaying a greater magnitude of improvement compared to the overground RST group during 30-meter top speed (6% vs. 1%) and s-cornering agility drill ice skating completion times (10% vs. 4%). Ice hockey coaches should incorporate on-ice RST to improve ice skating completion time across maximal cornering and straight line ice skating tests. When on-ice RST is not feasible, overground RST appears to be an effective alternative to induce comparable changes across most measures.
Diettze-Hermosa, Martin Sterling, "Effects of an 8-Week Resisted Sprint Training Program on Ice Skating Speed, Acceleration, and Measures of Athletic Performance in Male Youth Ice Hockey Players" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29207101.