Reliability of a Portable Accelerometer for Measuring Workload during Mixed Martial Arts

Hurst, Howard Thomas orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7889-8592, Atkins, Stephen and Kirk, Christopher (2014) Reliability of a Portable Accelerometer for Measuring Workload during Mixed Martial Arts. Journal of Athletic Enhancement, 03 (05). ISSN 2324-9080

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Background: Portable accelerometers have been used for a number of years in a range of contact sports. However, their appropriateness for use in combat sports such as Mixed Martial Arts has yet to be determined.

Aim: To determine the reliability of a portable accelerometer for assessing external workload in Mixed Martial Arts.

Methods: Eight male MMA trained participants (age = 25.5 ± 4.5 years) performed a series of 10 standing striking techniques, 6 ground striking techniques and 2 takedown techniques. Participants wore a triaxial accelerometer positioned in a harness between the T3-T4 vertebrae. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to determine intra-unit reliability, with the threshold set at ≥ 0.700, p≤ 0.05), whilst coefficient of variance (CV) was used to determine inter-unit reliability between eight units. Workload was determined via the assessment of instantaneous player load (PLd) and accumulated player load (PLdacc) over the event duration.

Results: All techniques showed intra-unit reliability for PLd between ICC = 0.700 - 0.970, and PLdacc between ICC =0.794 – 984, with the exception of left knee and right knee PLd. Coefficient of variance was reported as between 2.4% - 7.8% across all eight units for all techniques.

Conclusions: The study found that portable accelerometry could be reliably used to determine the external workload during a range of mixed martial Arts striking and grounding techniques. The use of sub technology may help further the understanding of the workload demands of the sport.

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