THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOWER LIMB STRENGTH AND CHANGE OF DIRECTION SPEED
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Change of direction speed in a key determinant of agility performance and has strong influence of athletic performance within sports. Fundamental performance variables within sports are trained for, practiced and executed everyday within sports. Coaches’ athletes and strength and conditioning professionals all insist on developing the relevant training variable in order to enhance the desired performance outcome. Strength training in conjunction with change of direction speed drills has had little specific research regarding unilateral and bilateral force properties. This study aimed to investigate and identify the role of lower extremity muscular strength and its relationship with change of direction speed. Ten undergraduate students (21.20 ± 0.92 years) from Cardiff Metropolitan University took part in this study. All participants completed a total of three tests spanning over the period of a week. The three testing sessions consisted of one bilateral isometric mid-thigh pull, one unilateral isometric mid-thigh pull and one pro agility shuttle run all of which were separated by a 48 hour window. The main conclusions of this study show that unilateral peak force and change of direction speed are significantly correlated with both limbs in all instances (R = -.794 P <0.01, R2 = 0.630) indicating maximal strength and unilateral peak force are indicative of one another. Relationships between bilateral peak force and change of direction speed were found to have no significance (p>0.05). In conclusion this study indicates that maximal strength is a key performance indicator change of direction speed and displays rationale behind approaches to development of these variables. Future research is required in this surrounding area and more concrete evidence will help to justify future findings.
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