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Using Unilateral Strength, Power and Reactive Strength Tests to Detect the Magnitude and Direction of Asymmetry: A Test-Retest Design

1
Faculty of Science and Technology, London Sports Institute, Middlesex University, London NW1 4RL, UK
2
Athlete Health and Research Performance Center, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha 29222, Qatar
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2019, 7(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7030058
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
The aims of the present study were to determine test-retest reliability for unilateral strength and power tests used to quantify asymmetry and determine the consistency of both the magnitude and direction of asymmetry between test sessions. Twenty-eight recreational trained sport athletes performed unilateral isometric squat, countermovement jump (CMJ) and drop jump (DJ) tests over two test sessions. Inter-limb asymmetry was calculated from both the best trial and as an average of three trials for each test. Test reliability was computed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), coefficient of variation (CV) and standard error of measurement (SEM). In addition, paired samples t-tests were used to determine systematic bias between test sessions and Kappa coefficients to report how consistently asymmetry favoured the same side. Within and between-session reliability ranged from moderate to excellent (ICC range = 0.70–0.96) and CV values ranged from 3.7–13.7% across tests. Significant differences in asymmetry between test sessions were seen for impulse during the isometric squat (p = 0.04; effect size = –0.60) but only when calculating from the best trial. When computing the direction of asymmetry across test sessions, levels of agreement were fair to substantial for the isometric squat (Kappa = 0.29–0.64), substantial for the CMJ (Kappa = 0.64–0.66) and fair to moderate for the DJ (Kappa = 0.36–0.56). These results show that when asymmetry is computed between test sessions, the group mean is generally devoid of systematic bias; however, the direction of asymmetry shows greater variability and is often inter-changeable. Thus, practitioners should consider both the direction and magnitude of asymmetry when monitoring inter-limb differences in healthy athlete populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Inter-limb differences; limb dominance; variability Inter-limb differences; limb dominance; variability
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Bishop, C.; Read, P.; Chavda, S.; Jarvis, P.; Turner, A. Using Unilateral Strength, Power and Reactive Strength Tests to Detect the Magnitude and Direction of Asymmetry: A Test-Retest Design. Sports 2019, 7, 58.

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