Relationships between midthigh pull force development and 200-m race performance in highly trained kayakers
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
School of Medical and Health Sciences
While increased lower-limb force production during kayaking has been shown to be related to increased boat velocity, poor relationships between maximal deadlift test performances and 200-m race time have been observed previously. This discrepancy may result from either a lack of movement pattern or temporal force production specificity between the test and kayak paddling. The isometric midthigh pull (MTP) test is commonly used in strength testing and quantifies temporal and peak force production, with the lower limbs positioned in a more kayak-specific manner than the deadlift test. Midthigh pull force data collected from 11 high-level kayak athletes were analyzed for both reliability and correlations with 200-m race time and deadlift isoinertial strength 3 repetition maximum (3RM). Strong consideration was given to the collection, processing, and analysis of the MTP data, which markedly affected the study results. Correlations between race time and MTP peak force and rates of force development were poor to moderate (r= -520.49 to 0.07). Strong to very strong relationships (r= 50.66–0.79) were found between forces developed early in the MTP (<0.15 seconds) and deadlift 3RM strength tests but were poor for later time-specific force development (r≤0.12). However, poor reliability was found for force measured up to ≤0.25 seconds from the point of force onset (intraclass correlation coefficient >0.8). Owing to the relatively weak relationships with 200-m race time, and the large variability of the data, it may not be wise to include the MTP in the testing and training of 200-m kayak athletes.