On-ice acceleration as a function of the Wingate anaerobic test and a biomechanical assessment of skating technique in elite ice hockey players
Purves, Neil Alexander
Master of Science
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Success in ice hockey depends on an individual’s ability to accelerate from a standing start or change direction and continue skating quickly and efficiently. Previous research to determine those factors which had the greatest contribution to on-ice acceleration was limited to two-dimensional biomechanical analyses of skating technique, without regard for the influence of physiological measures. The purpose of the present study was therefore to predict on-ice acceleration using peak anaerobic power from a Wingate test and kinematic variables from a three dimensional analysis of the biomechanics of skating technique. A sub-purpose of the present study was to examine the variability of skating technique at the elite level. The participants in this research study were thirty-seven ice hockey players from the Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League participating in the 1999 Prospects Camp in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The players completed a thirty second, maximal intensity Wingate anaerobic cycle ergometer test against a resistance of 0.095 kg-kg bodyweight-1. Peak anaerobic power was calculated and recorded as the highest anaerobic power value (number of flywheel revolutions) produced during any of the five-second intervals. One week following the Wingate anaerobic test, the players performed two maximal, on-ice accelerations over a distance of twenty meters, while being taped by two, Panasonic™ CL-350 digital cameras mounted on Peak Performance™ pan/tilt heads. The Peak Performance™ 3D Video Analysis System and a 23- point spatial model were used to extract the raw coordinates for the fastest of the two trials for each player, as measured by a photoelectric timer. The system was then used to smooth the raw data from both camera views and to combine the smoothed data to produce a three-dimensional image. Center of mass and kinematic variables of interest were measured at push-off and touchdown for the first five strides.