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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 November;58(11):1625-34

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07551-X

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

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

Souhail HERMASSI 1 , René SCHWESIG 2, Rainer WOLLNY 3, Georg FIESELER 4, Roland van den TILLAAR 5, Jaime FERNANDEZ-FERNANDEZ 6, Roy J. SHEPHARD 7, Mohamed-Souhaiel CHELLY 1

1 Research Unit 17JS01 for Sport Performance, Health and Society, Ksar-Saîd Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education, Manouba University, Tunis, Tunisia; 2 Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany; 3 Institute of Sports Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany; 4 Division for Shoulder Surgery and Sports Medicine, Helios Clinic, Warburg, Germany; 5 Department of Sports Sciences, Nord-University, Levanger, Norway; 6 Center for Sport Research, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain; 7 Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada



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.


KEY WORDS: Muscle strength - Exercise test - Athletic performance - Running

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