Previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of using aquatic-based (AB) running when compared to land-based (LB) running to produce similar gains. However, most studies have primarily focused on deep-water running styles rather than shallow-water sprinting. PURPOSE: To compare lower extremity running kinematics of female college athletes in an AB shallow water sprinting environment and in a LB sprinting environment. METHODS: 15 female NCAA Division III athletes completed this investigation. Each subject participated in a shallow-water sprinting familiarization session and completed both AB and LB sprinting tests. All trials were video recorded from the right sagittal view. RESULTS: T-test pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences between LB sprinting and AB sprinting. Stride rates (SR) (p<0.000) were 1.90Hz(± 0.11) for LB and 0.97Hz(± 0.12) for AB. Significant differences were also found in stride length (SL) (p<0.000) between LB sprinting (2.95m±0.19) and AB sprinting (0.88m±0.21). Additionally, the velocity between LB sprinting (5.58m/s ± 0.31) and AB sprinting (0.86m/s ± 0.25) were found to be significant (p<0.000) as was the calculated hip to foot relationship between LB sprinting (0.31m ±0.12) and AB sprinting (0.17 m ± 0.10) (p<0.004). However, single leg support time (SLS) and swing time (SW) did not exhibit statistically significant differences (p<0.064) between LB sprinting (SLS:23.03±4.11% of gait cycle; SW:76.97±4.11% of gait cycle) and AB sprinting (SLS:20.21±4.42% of gait cycle; 79.79±4.42% of gait cycle). CONCLUSION: These data revealed that the AB sprinting style was found to have significant lower extremity kinematic differences when compared to the LB sprinting style for all of the kinematic variables that were measured with the exception of SLS and SW. The differences exhibited are due to fluid mechanics, e.g. drag, buoyancy, and hydrostatic pressure. However, the data assists with the understanding of the differences associated with sprinting in different media.

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