The purpose of this study was to examine the covariate influence of fat- free weight (FFW) on age-related increases in isokinetic peak torque for leg flexion and extension in high school female gymnasts. Seventy-two gymnasts (X̄ age ± SD = 15.7 ± 1.2 yr) volunteered to be measured for isokinetic leg flexion and extension strength using a calibrated Cybex II dynamometer at 30, 180, and 300° · s-1 as well as for body composition from underwater weighing. The results indicated that there were significant (P <0.05) zero- order correlations for age versus leg flexion (r = 0.36-0.47) and extension (r = 0.51-0.57) peak torque, as well as FFW versus leg flexion (r = 0.50- 0.66) and extension (r = 0.62-0.73) peak torque. There were also significant (P <0.05) first-order partial correlations between age and peak torque (covaried for FFW) for leg extension at 30 (r = 0.25), 180 (r = 0.36-0.39, and 300° · s-1 (r = 0.25-0.28) but not for leg flexion. These findings indicated that for the high school female gymnasts in the present study, there were age-related increases in strength that could not be accounted for by changes in FFW. It is possible that factors such as an increase in muscle mass per unit of FFW and/or neural maturation contribute to strength increases during adolescence in female athletes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation