Predicting Punching Acceleration From Selected Strength and Power Variables in Elite Karate Athletes: A Multiple Regression Analysis

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Loturco, I, Artioli, GG, Kobal, R, Gil, S, and Franchini, E. Predicting punching acceleration from selected strength and power variables in elite karate athletes: A multiple regression analysis. J Strength Cond Res 28(7): 1826–1832, 2014—This study investigated the relationship between punching acceleration and selected strength and power variables in 19 professional karate athletes from the Brazilian National Team (9 men and 10 women; age, 23 ± 3 years; height, 1.71 ± 0.09 m; and body mass [BM], 67.34 ± 13.44 kg). Punching acceleration was assessed under 4 different conditions in a randomized order: (a) fixed distance aiming to attain maximum speed (FS), (b) fixed distance aiming to attain maximum impact (FI), (c) self-selected distance aiming to attain maximum speed, and (d) self-selected distance aiming to attain maximum impact. The selected strength and power variables were as follows: maximal dynamic strength in bench press and squat-machine, squat and countermovement jump height, mean propulsive power in bench throw and jump squat, and mean propulsive velocity in jump squat with 40% of BM. Upper- and lower-body power and maximal dynamic strength variables were positively correlated to punch acceleration in all conditions. Multiple regression analysis also revealed predictive variables: relative mean propulsive power in squat jump (W·kg−1), and maximal dynamic strength 1 repetition maximum in both bench press and squat-machine exercises. An impact-oriented instruction and a self-selected distance to start the movement seem to be crucial to reach the highest acceleration during punching execution. This investigation, while demonstrating strong correlations between punching acceleration and strength-power variables, also provides important information for coaches, especially for designing better training strategies to improve punching speed.

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