Implications of intra-limb variability on asymmetry analyses
Exell, Timothy A.
Gittoes, Marianne J.R.
Kerwin, David G.
Taylor & Francis
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of intra-limb variability on the calculation of asymmetry with the purpose of informing future analyses. Asymmetry has previously been quantified for discrete kinematic and kinetic variables; however, intra-limb variability has not been routinely included in these analyses. Synchronized lower-limb kinematic and kinetic data were collected from eight trained athletes (age 22 ± 5 years, mass 74.0 ± 8.7 kg, stature 1.79 ± 0.07 m) during maximal velocity sprint running. Asymmetry was quantified using a modified version of the symmetry angle for selected kinematic and kinetic variables. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between left and right values for each variable were calculated to indicate intra-limb variability relative to between-limb differences. Significant asymmetry was present in only 39% of kinematic variables and 23% of kinetic variables analysed. Large kinetic asymmetry values (>90%) were calculated for some athletes that were not significant, due to large intra-limb variability. Variables that displayed significant asymmetry were athlete-specific. Findings highlight the potential for misleading results if intra-limb variability is not included in asymmetry analyses. The exclusion of asymmetry scores for variables not displaying significant asymmetry will be useful when calculating overall asymmetry for different participants and could be applied to future running gait analyses.
Journal of Sports Sciences;
Journal of Sports Sciences, 30 (4), 403-409
- Sport Research Groups 
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