Effects of Traditional Versus Horizontal Inertial Flywheel Power Training on Common Sport-Related Tasks

by Moisés de Hoyo, Borja Sañudo, Luis Carrasco, Sergio Domínguez-Cobo, Jesús Mateo-Cortes, María Monserrat Cadenas-Sánchez, Sophia Nimphius

This study aimed to analyze the effects of power training using traditional vertical resistance exercises versus direction specific horizontal inertial flywheel training on performance in common sport-related tasks. Twenty-three healthy and physically active males (age: 22.29 ± 2.45 years) volunteered to participate in this study. Participants were allocated into either the traditional training (TT) group where the half squat exercise on a smith machine was applied or the horizontal flywheel training (HFT) group performing the front step exercise with an inertial flywheel. Training volume and intensity were matched between groups by repetitions (5-8 sets with 8 repetitions) and relative intensity (the load that maximized power (Pmax)) over the period of six weeks. Speed (10 m and 20 m), countermovement jump height (CMJH), 20 m change of direction ability (COD) and strength during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) were assessed before and after the training program. The differences between groups and by time were assessed using a two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures, followed by paired t-tests. A significant group by time interaction (p=0.004) was found in the TT group demonstrating a significantly higher CMJH. Within- group analysis revealed statistically significant improvements in a 10 m sprint (TT: -0.17 / 0.27 s vs. HFT: -0.11 / 0.10 s), CMJH (TT: 4.92 / 2.58 cm vs. HFT: 1.55 / 2.44 cm) and MVIC (TT: 62.87 / 79.71 N vs. HFT: 106.56 / 121.63 N) in both groups (p < 0.05). However, significant differences only occurred in the 20 m sprint time in the TT group (-0.04 / 0.12 s; p = 0.04). In conclusion, the results suggest that TT at the maximal peak power load is more effective than HFT for counter movement jump height while both TT and HFT elicited significant improvements in 10 m sprint performance while only TT significantly improved 20 m sprint performance.

Key words: maximal power output, half squat exercise, front step exercise, performance.