10 years ago I wrote an article called “Get Your Bound Out” for the now defunct inno-sport.net. In the article, I advocated for the use of bounds to develop overall running speed and power based on the even older article by Frank Dick called “Development of Maximum Sprinting Speed”.
The article had some great charts that had conversions of different times in different distance and how they would convert to race distances. This was great since most of my season is indoors and it is helpful to tell an athlete if you run a certain time in a shorter distance, it would convert to a certain 100m time. He also did the same conversion with a 1,3 and 5 step bounds.
For the year that I used it, it worked for me. I had a state champion who bounded well and the charts fit to his abilities. I had some athletes not quite as fast and they also fell into to appropriate categories based on his predictions. But, after that some things changed.
I had some faster athletes (Olympic medalists) come through and I used the bounds as an assessment tool. Even though they were faster than my previous athlete (quite a bit), they did not hit marks that were on Dick’s chart. One wasn’t even close and he was the fastest of the bunch. It caused me to question my thoughts. As more athletes made their way through, bounds did not look to be the magic bullet that I was hoping for and I stopped using them.
Jump ahead 10 years. I was having a conversation with Joel Smith of justflysports.com and we were discussing bounds. He was a jumper in a previous life and loves bounds, plyos, etc. We both thought that we really couldn’t find a use for them in the world of acceleration due to long contact times, heel strikes in front of the body and different body angles between a start and a bound which could require different muscles to work.
After our conversation, I decided to test out what we were thinking and challenge my old article.
I rolled my 1080 out to see what actually happens. As many of you know, the 1080 can effectively measure horizontal force, power and I can get a feel for ground contact time.
I measured 3 athletes who were well trained and “explosive”, athletes who have very high vertical jumps. I had them run 10 m acceleration from a 2 point stance. The 1080 measured power output and contact time. I then had them bound for 10m.
The following graphs are from the web app that comes with the 1080. The top line in all 3 graphs is the sprint line. The bottom line is the bound line. What is interesting is that the force numbers (creates momentum) are similar but once the mass gets moving, the power drops off considerably. This could be because there is a lack of acceleration in the bound. The longer peak on the bottom line shows a longer contact time.
What this may show is that if we are looking to develop acceleration, maybe the bound is not the exercise that I hoped it was. Maybe, if we are looking to improve acceleration, we should work on acceleration instead of using other exercises to try to overload.
If we added resistance to the acceleration, it created much greater power output numbers. But, if the athlete lacks the proper body angles or foot placement, the power numbers start to drop.
More to come on this…