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Generalization of Muscle Strength Capacities as Assessed From Different Variables, Tests, and Muscle Groups

Cuk, Ivan; Prebeg, Goran; Sreckovic, Sreten; Mirkov, Dragan M.; Jaric, Slobodan

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2017 - Volume 31 - Issue 2 - p 305–312
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001501
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Cuk, I, Prebeg, G, Sreckovic, S, Mirkov, DM, and Jaric, S. Generalization of muscle strength capacities as assessed from different variables, tests, and muscle groups. J Strength Cond Res 31(2): 305–312, 2017—The muscle strength capacities to exert force under various movement conditions have been indiscriminately assessed from various strength tests and variables applied on different muscles. We tested the hypotheses that the distinctive strength capacities would be revealed (H1) through different strength tests, and (H2) through different strength variables. Alternatively, (H3) all strength variables independent of the selected test could depict the same strength capacity of the tested muscle. Sixty subjects performed both the standard strength test and the test of alternating contractions of 6 pairs of antagonistic muscles acting in different leg and arm joints. The dependent variables obtained from each test and muscle were the maximum isometric force and the rate of force development. A confirmatory principle component analysis set to 2 factors explained 31.9% of the total variance. The factor loadings discerned between the tested arm and leg muscles, but not between the strength tests and variables. An exploratory analysis applied on the same data revealed 6 factors that explained 60.1% of the total variance. Again, the individual factors were mainly loaded by different tests and variables obtained from the same pair of antagonistic muscles. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment of the muscle strength capacity of the tested individual should be based on a single strength test and variable obtained from a number of different muscles, than on a single muscle tested through different tests and variables. The selected muscles should act in different limbs and joints, while the maximum isometric force should be the variable of choice.

1Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia;

2College of Sports and Health, Belgrade, Serbia;

3Department of Psychology and Sport Science, Neuromotor Behavior Laboratory, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany; and

4Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, Biomechanics and Movement Science Graduate Program, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Address correspondence to Dr. Slobodan Jaric, jaric@udel.edu.

Copyright © 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.