Introduction: Maximum running acceleration essential components in many sports. The identification of specific training protocols to maximize sprint speed would be useful knowledge for soccer coaches and players.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a high-speed treadmill with the use of a body-weight support system in a 6-week sport acceleration program on: 40-yard sprint time, maximal isometric knee flexor and extensor strength.

Methods: 32 female soccer players (age 16 ± 1.19 yrs) participated in two treatment groups and one control group. Both treatment groups participated in a 12-session sport acceleration program. The first treatment group utilized a body-weight support system while on a high-speed treadmill; the second group used a standard treadmill with no body weight support system. The control group, NT, did not participate in a sports acceleration program and did not alter their exercise routines outside of the study.

Results: For each variable an Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was performed. 40-yard sprint times for treatment groups were shown to improve significantly as compared to the control group (p = 0.0007 for high-speed treadmill with body-weight support system, p= < 0.0001 for standard treadmill without body-weight support system). Isometric flexor and extensor strengths did not show significant differences between treatment groups and control group. P-values for the high-speed with body-weight support system were (p = 0.53) for flexors and (p = 0.51) for extensors as compared to the control group. P-values for the standard treadmill with no body-weight support system were (p = 0.19) for extensors and (p = 0.0263) for flexors. It is noted that the extensor muscles were nearly significant for the standard treadmill with no body-weight support system.

Discussion: These results can help high school coaches and athletes determine the optimal treadmill training regime. The current study shows that a high-speed treadmill with body-weight support system is just as beneficial as standard treadmill training.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





body weight support system, high-speed treadmill, sport acceleration program, speed, agility, sprint, isometric knee flexor strength, isometric knee extensor strength, injury, soccer