Title

Baseline Assessments of Strength and Balance Performance and Bilateral Asymmetries In Collegiate Athletics

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-4-2018

School

Kinesiology and Nutrition

Abstract

Injuries to upper and lower extremities comprise more than 70% of the total injuries in collegiate athletes. Establishing normative data of upper and lower extremity strength and balance may help guide postinjury rehabilitation and return-to-play decisions. The purposes of the current study were to develop the normative data of performance and bilateral asymmetries during 4 upper and lower extremity strength and balance tests in collegiate athletes and to quantify the correlations between strength and balance performance and bilateral asymmetries. A total of 304 male and 195 female Division I athletes from 14 sports performed a maximum push-up test to assess upper extremity strength, a countermovement jump test to assess lower extremity strength, an upper extremity reaching test to assess upper extremity balance, and a lower extremity reaching test to assess lower extremity balance. Bilateral ground reaction forces were collected for the push-up and jump tests. Reaching distances were measured for the 2 balance tests. Bilateral asymmetries were generally less than 10%. Significant sports effects were observed for all 5 performance variables (p < 0.001) but not for asymmetry variables (p ≥ 0.36). Weak correlations were found between strength and balance performance and asymmetries (r < 0.3). Normative data are sex and sports specific in collegiate athletes. Increased asymmetries could be more individualized rather than sex and sports specific. When return-to-play decisions are made, athletes following injuries need to demonstrate less than 10% of asymmetries to be consistent with the normative data. Strength and balance should be evaluated and improved with specific focuses.

Publication Title

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

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