H:Q Ratios and Bilateral Leg Strength in College Field and Court Sports Players

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H:Q Ratios and Bilateral Leg Strength in College Field and Court Sports Players

One of the key components in sports injury prevention is the identification of imbalances in leg muscle strength. However, different leg muscle characteristics may occur in large playing area (field) sports and small playing area (court) sports, which should be considered in regular injury prevention assessment. This study examined the isokinetic hamstrings-to-quadriceps (H:Q) ratio and bilateral leg strength balance in 40 male college (age: 23.4 ± 2.5 yrs) team sport players (field sport = 23, soccer players; court sport = 17, volleyball and basketball players). Five repetitions of maximal knee concentric flexion and concentric extension were performed on an isokinetic dynamometer at two speeds (slow: 60 °·s-1 and fast: 300°·s-1) with 3 minutes rest between tests. Both legs were measured in counterbalanced order with the dominant leg being determined as the leg used to kick a ball. The highest concentric peak torque values (Nm) of the hamstrings and quadriceps of each leg were analyzed after body mass normalization (Nm·kg-1). Court sport players showed significantly weaker dominant leg hamstrings muscles at both contraction speeds (P < 0.05). The H:Q ratio was significantly larger in field players in their dominant leg at 60°·s-1 (P < 0.001), and their non-dominant leg at 300°·s-1 (P < 0.001) respectively. Sport-specific leg muscle strength was evident in college players from field and court sports. These results suggest the need for different muscle strength training and rehabilitation protocols for college players according to the musculature requirements in their respective sports.

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