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Anecdotal evidence suggests a relationship between strength imbalances and injury incidence.
To examine the relationship between bilateral strength imbalance and incidence of injury.
Participants and Design:
Thirty national- or international-standard flatwater kayakers were classified as noninjured, trunk injured, or upper-limb injured based on the number of days lost from training over the last 6 months. Bilateral strength imbalance was measured using a kayak ergometer, producing data for peak force and force impulse for each side of each stroke. Bilateral strength imbalance was then compared between the noninjured, trunk-injured, and upper-limb-injured groups by means of 2 one-way ANOVAs. No participants reported training days lost through lower-limb injury.
A significantly elevated bilateral peak-force strength imbalance was observed between the upper-limb-injured and the noninjured groups.
These data support the existence of a relationship between strength imbalance and incidence of injury.
Lovell is with the School of Life Sciences, University of Kingston, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, England. Lauder is with the School of Sports Studies at University College Chichester, Chichester PO19, England.