The relationship of lean limb volume to performance in the handgrip and standing long jump tests in boys and girls, aged 11.6–13.2 years
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Twenty-three girls and 19 boys performed the handgrip and standing long jump (SLJ) tests. Their total forearm and leg volumes were calculated from circumference and length measurements and the lean volumes (bone + muscle) were calculated by making allowance for skinfold thickness. Although the boys were older than the girls (12.8 and 12.4 years), there was no significant difference in their heights or body masses. The absolute performances of the boys were superior to those of the girls in both tests (handgrip 234 and 205 N and SLJ 1.53 and 1.34 m), but when jumping performance was expressed as distance x body mass, there was no significant difference. In both tests, performance in terms of unit lean limb volume showed no significant gender difference. When performance was related to lean limb volume, both boys and girls showed a linear relationship in the two tests, with no significant difference between them. This absence of a gender difference contrasts with the results of a previous study on young adults and comparison shows that the relationships between lean limb volume and performance in the two tests for both boys and girls lie just below those of the young, adult females. The difference between the girls and the young adult females was just significant in the handgrip (p<0.05), but not significant in the SLJ (p>0.25), whereas the differences between the boys and young adult males were significant (p<0.01) in both tests. Thus it would appear that a gender difference in the performance of skeletal muscle develops during adolescence and possible contributory factors are discussed.
Key wordsMuscle strength Handgrip Standing long jump Lean limb volume Children
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