Functional Asymmetries and Lateral Dominance in the Lower Limbs of Distance Runners

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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This study investigated the phenomenon of lower extremity functional asymmetries in a group of competitive male distance runners (N = 29). Bilateral measurements were taken to assess selected variables of the talocalcaneal flexibility (goniometry) and of the isokinetic knee strength (Cybex II). Data analysis revealed significant asymmetries for both lower extremity functional parameters. The subjects were symmetric in the total range of motion of the subtalar joint and inversely asymmetric in the range of motion of calcaneal eversion and calcaneal inversion. The laterality patterns of functional asymmetries were found to be consistent and independent of the conventional upper and lower extremity lateral preferences. It was theorized that asymmetries in the lower extremities are characterized by joint-specific trends of bilateralism.

George Vagenas is with the Human Ergometry Lab, Dept. of Athletic Education, Hellenic Air Force Academy, Athens, Greece. Blaine Hoshizaki is with the Dept. of Physical Education, McGill University, 475 Pine Ave. West, Montreal, P.Q., Canada H2W 1S4.

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