"Is there a relationship between initial acceleration and reactive agility and the performance measures of maximal strength and maximal power in elite collegiate rugby union players"
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The focus of this research is in the area of strength and conditioning in rugby union. The revolution of strength and conditioning in rugby union has improved over the last ten years since the sport turned professional. Such a study is important to strength and conditioning coaches in a variety of sports in the methods of application within their resistance programs. Strength and power are at the height of sport science research although very few studies have investigated the relationship between strength and power, reactive agility and initial acceleration. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a relationship between initial acceleration, reactive agility and the performance measures of maximal strength and maximal power. Ten male, university level rugby union players performed a 1 repetition maximum (1RM) squat, 1RM clean, initial acceleration 0-10m and a single cut reactive agility test. The mean and standard deviation (SD±) values from strength, power, initial acceleration and reactive agility were presented. The main conclusions drawn from this study are that the performance measures of strength and power are strongly related to each other (r=0.729*, p=0.017). This suggested that maximum strength and power are highly dependent upon each other. The squat scores were positively correlated with initial acceleration times (r=0.552, p=0.098), and showed no correlation with reactive agility (r=-0.137, p=0.705). The clean showed no correlation with the initial acceleration (r=0.118, p=0.746), as well as no correlation with the reactive agility scores (r=-0.149, p=0.682). The reactive agility times showed a positive correlation with initial acceleration times (r=0.471, p=0.169), as well as a significant decrement in overall time by 0.85s. The findings from this research provide evidence that strength and power are highly dependent upon one another; although there was no conclusive evidence into the relationship between strength, power an initial acceleration. This dissertation recommends that additional research into the importance of physiological measures within reactive agility performance is imperative.
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