The assessment of muscle strength symmetry in kayakers and canoeists
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Study aim: To determine and compare the muscle strength profile and muscle strength symmetry of kayakers and canoeists. Material and methods: A total of 36 male participants participated in the study, including 25 kayakers and 9 canoeists. Measurements of maximum muscle torque were taken under static conditions for 10 muscle groups: flexors and extensors of the elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, and trunk. Muscle torque was allometrically scaled by body mass. To determine the muscle strength profiles of athletes in both disciplines, residual analysis was used. Two methods were utilized to assess and compare the muscle strength symmetry between left and right limbs. The first one is known as intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The second one is an asymmetry coefficient proposed by authors. Results: The study showed that kayakers obtained lower rates of asymmetry indicators than canoeists in most muscle groups. An overall asymmetry coefficient amounted to 0.77 ± 0.20 and 0.99 ± 0.31 (p < 0.05) for kayakers and canoeists, respectively. Moreover, it was observed that the kayakers and canoeists had similar strength profile. The symmetry assessment of maximum muscle torque corresponds to the characteristics of the studied disciplines. Conclusions: The intraclass correlation coefficient is recommended as a measure of strength symmetry for muscle groups comparisons. The asymmetry coefficient is recommended for comparison of individuals.
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