The purpose of the present study was to examine age-related changes in isokinetic leg flexion and extension peak torque (PT), PT/body weight (PT/BW), and PT/fat-free weight (PT/FFW) in young wrestlers. Male wrestlers (N = 108; age M ± SD = 11.3 ± 1.5 years) volunteered to be measured for peak torque at 30, 180, and 300° · s−1. In addition, underwater weighing was performed to determine body composition characteristics. The sample was divided into six age groups (8.1−8.9, n = 10; 9.0−9.9, n= 11; 10.0−10.9, n = 25; 11.0−11.9, n = 22; 12.0−12.9, n = 28; 13.0−13.9, n = 12), and repeated measures ANOVAs with Tukey post hoc comparisons showed increases across age for PT, PT/BW, and PT/FFW. The results of this study indicated that there were age-related increases in peak torque that could not be accounted for by changes in BW or FFW. It is possible that either an increase in muscle mass per unit of FFW, neural maturation, or both, contributes to the increase in strength across age in young male athletes.
T.J. Housh and G.O. Johnson are with the Center for Youth Fitness and Sports Research, Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MABL 143, Lincoln, NE 68588-0229. D.J. Housh is with the Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Lincoln, NE 68588. J.R. Stout and J.M. Eckerson are with the Exercise Science Department at Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178. J.P. Weir and L.L. Weir are with the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA 50312.