Determination of strength imbalance of the lower extremities
Fourteen college softball players were recruited to participate in this study to determine if a strength imbalance between the lower extremities, how significant this difference this may be and of any correlations existed among all the functional tests. Subjects took part in isokinetic flexion and extension at 60 and 240 deg/sec, parallel squats, 2-legged vertical jump, single leg vertical jump, and a five-hop test. Peak and average torque was recorded for isokinetic testing and revealed significant differences between the dominant and non-dominant limbs (13.00%- 16.00%). Peak and average force was analyzed for squats and all vertical jumps. Significance was found among all activities between dominant and non-dominant legs, other than average force for single leg vertical jump. A significant difference was also exhibited for the five-hop test between the lower extremities. Significant correlations were also found at the 0.05 and 0.01 levels amongst the various functional tests. Overall findings revealed a significant strength imbalance between the dominant and non-dominant limbs. Further research needs to be conducted in determining how detrimental these differences could be in daily performance for athletes.