A narrative review of limb dominance: task-specificity and the importance of fitness testing

Virgile, Adam and Bishop, Chris ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1505-1287 (2021) A narrative review of limb dominance: task-specificity and the importance of fitness testing. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research . ISSN 1064-8011 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003851)

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Abstract

Preferential limb function must be sustained through repetitious asymmetrical activities for continuous athletic development and ultimately, optimal athletic performance. As such, the prevalence of limb dominance and between-limb differences are common in athletes. Severe between-limb differences have been associated with reductions in athletic performance and increased injury risk in athletes. However, in the current literature, the terms limb preference and limb dominance have been used inter-changeably. Together, these terms include a limb which is subjectively preferred and one that is objectively dominant in one or more performance measures from a variety of athletic tasks. In this review, we 1) discuss reported correspondence between task-specific limb preference and limb dominance outcomes in athletes, 2) provide greater context and distinction between the terms limb preference and limb dominance, and 3) to offer pragmatic strategies for practitioners to assess context-specific limb dominance. A limb which is subjectively preferred is not necessarily objectively dominant in one or more athletic qualities or sport-specific tasks. Further to this, a limb which is objectively superior in one task may not exhibit such superiority in a separate task. Thus, limb preference and limb dominance are both task-specific. As such, we propose that practitioners intentionally select tasks for limb dominance assessment which resemble the most relevant demands of sport. Because limb dominance profiles are inconsistent, we suggest that practitioners increase assessment frequency by integrating limb dominance testing into standard training activities. This will allow practitioners to better understand when changes reflect sport-specific adaptation versus potential performance or injury ramifications.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Strength and Conditioning at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 30854
Notes on copyright: This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in:
Virgile, Adam; Bishop, Chris, A Narrative Review of Limb Dominance, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: January 15, 2021 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003851
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Chris Bishop
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2020 07:30
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2021 20:37
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/30854

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