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E-35 Free Communication/Poster - Motor Control Friday, May 30, 2014, 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM Room:WB1

Comparison of Hip and Knee Neuromuscular Power Between Young Female and Male Athletes: 2470 Board #175 May 30, 930 AM - 1100 AM

Parsons, Joanne L.; Porter, Michelle M.

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2014 - Volume 46 - Issue 5S - p 668
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000495476.79534.9e
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Neuromuscular power may have a stronger influence on functional performance when compared to neuromuscular strength. Therefore, a deficit in neuromuscular power could have the potential to increase injury risk and/or decrease sport performance. Adult males show greater neuromuscular power than adult females; however sex differences in neuromuscular power have not been investigated in young athletes. Examining this variable in a young population may provide insight into appropriate development programs for young athletes.

PURPOSE: To determine whether female and male athletes aged 10-14 years differ in hip flexion (HF) and knee extension (KE) peak power (PP) as measured with a Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer.

METHODS: Fifty-two athletes (26 girls) were tested for hip power in standing and knee power in sitting at an angular velocity of 60°/sec. Peak power was calculated as the average peak power of five repetitions from each of the two test sessions. Multiple linear regression was used to identify factors significantly affecting the dependent variables. Those factors (age & body mass for HF PP; age for KE PP) were then used as covariates within an Analysis of Covariance to explore sex differences in hip and knee neuromuscular power.

RESULTS: Female and male athletes showed no statistically significant differences in hip flexion (p=.57) or knee extension (p=.79) peak power. Mean hip flexion PP for female athletes was 70.7 ± 25 Watts (W) (adjusted mean = 71.4 W) compared to 74.3 ± 28 W (adjusted mean = 73.6 W) for male athletes. Knee extension PP was greater than hip flexion PP for both sexes. Female athletes displayed a mean of 81.6 ± 32 W (adjusted mean = 83.1 W) while male athletes showed a mean of 82.7 ± 34 W (adjusted mean = 81.3 W).

CONCLUSION: Girls and boys do not differ in the peak neuromuscular power of their hip flexor or knee extensor muscle groups. Further research is required to determine at what age girls begin to lag behind their male counterparts, and whether training programs should be implemented to minimize power loss and maximize function as the athlete matures.

Funding: Manitoba Health Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research & Sport Medicine Council of Manitoba

© 2014 American College of Sports Medicine