Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physical Education


In athletic activities, strength, speed, and power are important factors that determine how effective and efficiently an individual will perform. Present day coaches realize that in order to have championship athletes and teams, the individual athlete must have muscular strength, speed, and power sufficient to meet the challenges of prolonged strenuous practice and competition. Other things being equal, the faster and stronger man will be more effective in athletics than the slower, weaker man. Kirkley indicates that the use of weights for improving one's ability in various sports and games is now largely accepted by the world's leading coaches. The myth that weightlifting will hamper speed has been argued, but today many coaches and sport scientists feel that an increase in strength through the use of weights will also increase the speed of muscular contractions. Strenuous sports make heavy physical demands on participants. Sheer strength, speed, power, and quickness in addition to skill are essential for an individual to be an adequate competitor. Leg strength explosive power, and sprinting speed are valuable assets to all athletes, and coaches are constantly searching for new methods of improving these qualities in their players. Carnes stated that an increase 'in an athlete's leg power may also help him increase his speed. Roy has contended that leg strength is the most important element in explosive power. In light of the evidence that over-all strength, power and speed may be increased by a select weight training program, the investigator felt that a study on the effects of weight training on only the legs would be feasible. Questions asked are: does exercising one leg at a time produce greater strength improvement than exercising both legs at the same time? Does a weight training program specifically designed for strengthening only the legs develop power and increase sprinting speed? Is the time required to exercise one leg at a time administratively feasible? Hopefully such a study will provide objective and practical knowledge about off-season training programs and their relation to leg strength, leg power, and sprinting speed. The purpose of this investigation was to determine what effects a select weight training program consisting of exercises for each leg individually would have on leg strength as compared to the same program exercising both legs simultaneously.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Weight lifting
Muscle strength



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University