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Interlimb Asymmetries: Understanding How to Calculate Differences From Bilateral and Unilateral Tests

Bishop, Chris, MSc1; Read, Paul, PhD, CSCS*D2; Lake, Jason, PhD3; Chavda, Shyam, MSc1; Turner, Anthony, PhD, CSCS*D1

Strength & Conditioning Journal: August 2018 - Volume 40 - Issue 4 - p 1–6
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000371
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ABSTRACT INTERLIMB ASYMMETRIES HAVE BEEN A POPULAR TOPIC OF INVESTIGATION IN THE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING LITERATURE. RECENTLY, NUMEROUS EQUATIONS HAVE BEEN HIGHLIGHTED THAT CAN QUANTIFY THESE BETWEEN-LIMB DIFFERENCES. HOWEVER, NO DISTINCTION WAS PROVIDED ON WHETHER THEIR USE WAS APPLICABLE TO BOTH BILATERAL AND UNILATERAL TESTS. THIS ARTICLE PROVIDES A FRAMEWORK FOR SELECTING THE MOST APPROPRIATE ASYMMETRY EQUATION BASED ON THE SELECTED TEST METHOD, ENSURING ACCURATE CALCULATION AND INTERPRETATION. IN ADDITION, CONSIDERATIONS FOR DATA ANALYSIS HAVE ALSO BEEN INCLUDED AS A GUIDE FOR PRACTITIONERS ON THE RELEVANCE OF MONITORING INTERLIMB DIFFERENCES LONGITUDINALLY.

1School of Science and Technology, London Sport Institute, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom;

2Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; and

3Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Chris Bishop, C.Bishop@mdx.ac.uk.

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

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Chris Bishopis a senior lecturer in strength and conditioning at the London Sport Institute, Middlesex University where he is also the Programme Leader for the MSc in Strength and Conditioning.

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Paul Readis a clinical researcher at the Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre at Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital.

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Jason Lakeis a Reader in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics at the University of Chichester, Sussex, UK where he is also the Programme Leader for the MSc in Strength and Conditioning.

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Shyam Chavdais a strength and conditioning coach and technical associate at the London Sport Institute, Middlesex University.

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Anthony Turneris the director of postgraduate programmes in sport at the London Sport Institute, Middlesex University.

© 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association