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The SCJ is the professional
journal for strength coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists, athletic
trainers, and other health professionals working in the strength and conditioning
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Read the full-length article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research .
Natural grass, artificial turf, and asphalted track are three surfaces that sporting events often take place on. When designing a facility to train athletes or host competitions, the surface of the area of play is often a primary concern. Does one of these surfaces have greater benefits to running performance than the others? A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared asphalted track, natural grass, and two types of artificial turf to determine if one surface was more metabolically efficient than the others.Surprisingly, the cost of running was similar between the natural grass and artificial turfs with comparable shock absorption characteristics. The softer surface associated with natural grass may be counterbalanced by the increased hardness of the shoe sole of soccer or rugby boots. Likewise, the harder running surface of the asphalted track may be counterbalanced by the softer sole of running shoes. The perceived exertions reported by participants showed that running on the asphalted track surface was easier than the grass or turf surfaces, which may be due to differences in running style as opposed to the running surface.
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The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the NSCA's scientific journal. This monthly publication prints original research information important to strength and conditioning practitioners. Many educational institutions, researchers, and professionals retain this journal as a valuable reference.