Influence of Towing force Magnitude on the Kinematics of Supramaximal Sprinting

David A. Clark, Michelle B. Sabick, Ronald P. Pfeiffer, Seth M. Kuhlman, Nicole A. Knigge and Kevin g. Shea

Purpose: To determine the influence of towing force magnitude on the kinematics of supramaximal sprinting in ten high school and college-age track and field athletes.

Conclusions: Towing force magnitude does influence the kinematics of supramaximal sprinting and that potentially negative training effects may arise from towing individuals with a force in excess of 3.8% of body weight. Therefore, it is suggested that coaches and practitioners adjust towing force magnitude for each individual and avoid using towing forces in excess of 3.8% of the athlete’s body weight.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH: Being forced to move faster that normal via a towing device with forces greater than 3.8% of body weight alters sprint mechanics and thus does not positively affect ability when running naturally. With respect to the principle of specificity, time would be better spent practicing sprinting as it will be needed in sport competition to improve sport-specific requirements.