Muscle Power Sprint Test

Original Editor - Romy Hageman
Top Contributors - Romy Hageman and Lauren Heydenrych

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The Muscle Power Sprint Test serves as a straightforward field assessment for evaluating anaerobic performance in children and adolescents capable of walking, running, or self-propelling a wheelchair[1][2][3]. It requires only a few minutes to complete, utilizing an open space, a stopwatch and two cones.

Intended Population[edit | edit source]

Method of Use[edit | edit source]

The Muscle Power Sprint Test is an inexpensive, easy test, which can be completed within a relatively brief time frame and does not require special equipment or training[1]:

  • Equipment required: Stopwatch, floor tape, 4 cones, 15 meters of measuring tape, anthropometric weight scale
  • Time to administer: 1-5 minutes
  • Required training: not necessary

As many of a child's daily activities involve bursts of intense activity, anaerobic muscle power is considered a significant measure of functional ability[5].

Technique[edit | edit source]

A visual image of the Muscle Power Sprint Test

Prior to conducting the Muscle Power Sprint Test, each participant performs a preliminary test at a slow speed, serving as both a warm-up and a familiarization process. The warm-up is followed by a 3-minute rest period.

The actual test involves several 15-meter sprints with 10 seconds of recovery between each sprint, marked by lines taped to the floor and cones placed at the end of each line.

Participants capable of walking or running must complete six 15-meter sprints at maximum pace, while those using wheelchairs perform three 15-meter sprints. Wheelchair users are instructed to propel their wheelchairs as rapidly as possible from one line to the other, ensuring all wheels cross each line.

Between each sprint, participants are granted a 10-second period for turning around and preparing for the next sprint. Power output for each sprint can be calculated using total mass - being body mass (if applicable, wheelchair weight) and running/propelling times, where power equals (total mass * 15 m^2) / time[1][2].

Analysis of Results[edit | edit source]

Power = Total mass (Body mass + Wheelchair mass) x Distance2/Time

Peak power (PP) is the highest calculated power, and mean power (MP) is the average power over the sprints. Mean power is considered the most important parameter during an anaerobic exercise test[1][6][7]. Mean power gives an indication of the ability to sustain anaerobic performance throughout all the runs.

Anaerobic testing is subject to inherent methodological limitations. The effectiveness of the Muscle Power Sprint Test is significantly influenced by participation motivation. Presently, there are no objective physiological criteria available to define a 'true' maximal anaerobic effort. Consequently, researchers or clinicians must depend on the collaboration of the individual undergoing the exercise. Creating an encouraging, child-friendly, and exercise-friendly environment is crucial to ensure that participants execute the test to the best of their abilities.

Evidence[edit | edit source]

The psychometric values of the Muscle Power Sprint Test are:

  • Reliability, validity and responsiveness have been demonstrated. The version requiring walking/running has high reliability (ICC>0.98)[1]. In children with cerebral palsy, this version also demonstrates strong construct validity when compared to the cycling Wingate Anaerobic Test. There are highly significant and robust correlations observed for both Peak Power (PP) and Mean Power (MP) values between the Muscle Power Sprint Test and the Wingate Anaerobic Test (PP:r=0.731, p <0.001; MP: r=0.903, p <0.001)[6].
  • The Muscle Power Sprint Test version that involves manual wheelchair propulsion demonstrates high reliability, with Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) values for Peak Power (PP) and Mean Power (MP) both reaching 0.99[2]. In this version there are highly significant positive correlations for Peak Power and Mean Power between the Muscle Power Sprint Test and the arm-cranking version of the Wingate Anaerobic Test (PP: r=0.91, p<0.001; MP: r=0.88, p<0.001), providing further support for the test's construct validity[2].
  • The Muscle Power Sprint Test is sensitive to change in children with cerebral palsy[1][1]. Changes in a child's performance that exceed established Limits of Agreement (LOA) can be attributed to real change[1][2].
  • Normative values have been established for the running version in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy[8] and typically developing children aged 6 to 12 years.
  • The test-retest reliability of the Muscle Power Sprint Test is good (ICC 0.98)[9].
  • The Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) for children with Cerebral Palsy[1]: GMFC level 1: SEM Peak Power: 13.9 watts, SEM Mean Power: 9.0 watts. GMFC level 2: SEM Peak Power: 13.9 watts, SEM Mean Power: 9.0 watts
  • Minimal Detectable Change (MDC) for children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy (GMFC level 1-2[1]: MDC Peak Power: 38.5 watts, MDC Mean Power: 25.0 watts.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Verschuren O, Takken T, Ketelaar M, Gorter JW, Helders P. Reliability for Running Tests for Measuring Agility and Anaerobic Muscle Power in Children and Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2007;19(2):108-115
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Verschuren O, Zwinkels M, Obeid J, Kerkhof N, Ketelaar M, Takken T. Reliability and validity of short-term performance tests for wheelchair-using children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2013;55(12):1129-1135
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bloemen MA, Takken T, Backx FJ, Vos M, Kruitwagen CL, de Groot JF. Validity and reliability of skill-related fitness tests for wheelchair-using youth with spina bifida. Archives of PHysical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 2017; 98(6):1097-1103
  4. Aertssen WFM, Ferguson GD, Smits-Engelsman BCM. Performance on Functional Strenght Measurement and Muscle Power Sprint Test confirm poor anaerobic capacity in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 2016;59:115-126
  5. Bailey RC, Olsen J, Pepper SL, et al. The level and tempo of children's physical ativities: an observational study. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995;17:1033-1041
  6. 6.0 6.1 Verschuren O, Bongers BC, Obeid J, Ruyten T, Takken T. Validity of the muscle power sprint test in ambulatory youth with cerebral palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2013;25(1):25-8
  7. Steenman K, Verschuren O, Rameckers E, Douma-van Riet D, Takken T. Extended Reference Values for the Muscle Power Sprint Test in 6- to 18-Year-Old Children. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2016;28(1):78-84
  8. Verschuren O, Bloemen M, Kruitwagen C, Takken T. Reference values for anaerobic performance and agility in ambulatory children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2010;52(10):222-228
  9. Douma-van Riet D, Verschuren O, Jelsma D, Kruitwagen C, Smits-Engelsman B, Takken T. Reference values for the muscle power sprint test in 6- to 12-year-old children. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2012;24(4):327–332