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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Applied Sciences: Physical Fitness and Performance

Leg power in young women: relationship to body composition, strength, and function


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The ability to generate high forces at high velocity (power) is an important component of physiologic reserve for both athletic performance and functional capacity. A comparison was made between different laboratory methods and field tests designed to evaluate leg power. Nineteen young healthy untrained women participated in this study. Maximum power during the double leg press (KP) occurred between 56-78% of the one repetition maximum (1-RM) and averaged (404 ± 22 W). Rank-ordered correlation showed an association between KP and another measure of leg power measured on the leg extensor power rig (LR) when expressed per kg LBM (Rho = 0.565, P< 0.016). KP was also related to the 1-RM achieved on the double leg press(R2 = 0.584, P < 0.001). The KP test also correlated with the vertical jump (R2 = 0.538, P < 0.004) and maximal power output during the Wingate anaerobic power test (R2 = 0.299,P < 0.015). However, double leg press power was not related to time to run 40 yards (R2 = 0.020, P < 0.573) or maximal gait velocity (R2 = 0.136, P < 0.121). These results suggest that maximal power during the double leg press occurs at a higher percentage of maximal strength than previously reported. Double leg press power was related to vertical jump performance, validating this field test as a measure of leg muscle power in young women.

©1996The American College of Sports Medicine


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