Sports Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp 727–743

Assessment and Interpretation of Isokinetic Muscle Strength During Growth and Maturation

  • Mark B. A. De Ste Croix
  • Martine A. Deighan
  • Neil Armstrong
Review Article

Abstract

The majority of strength studies examining changes during growth and maturation have investigated isometric actions, which tell us little about the muscle under dynamic conditions. There are numerous methodological issues in the isokinetic testing of paediatric populations that require further investigation. However, several studies have indicated that children can be reliably assessed isokinetically using both concentric and eccentric actions. Most paediatric studies have examined the knee joint and more data are needed to elucidate the reliability of upper body isokinetic strength testing. The age- and sex-associated development of isokinetic strength is less well understood. Studies have indicated that isokinetic strength increases with age but the mechanisms associated with this increase require further investigation. Current data are also conflicting regarding the age at which sex differences become apparent in isokinetic strength. More work is needed to examine the influence of maturation on isokinetic strength development, but available data suggest that maturation is a non-significant contributory factor once stature and body mass are accounted for. Most studies have demonstrated a significant relationship between stature, body mass and isokinetic strength during growth and maturation. The importance that changes in body composition during growth have on isokinetic strength has been investigated using fat-free mass and muscle cross-sectional area. Data have shown that although fat-free mass and muscle cross-sectional area are important contributors to isokinetic strength, other unexplained factors also influence isokinetic strength development. Additional work needs to investigate possible qualitative changes in muscle during growth and maturation. More work is also needed to examine changes in eccentric strength with age and to investigate sex differences in upper body isokinetic strength. Future studies should preferably be longitudinal in nature and examine known covariates simultaneously using appropriate statistical techniques.

References

  1. 1.
    Osternig L. Isokinetic dynamometry: implications for muscle testing and rehabilitation. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 1986; 144: 45–79Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stocker BD, Nyland J, Caborn DNM. Concentric isokinetic knee torque characteristics of female volleyball players. Isokinet Exerc Sci 1996; 5: 111–4Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Faro A, Silva J, Santos A, et al. A study of knee isokinetic strength in preadolescence. In: Armstrong N, Kirby B, Welsman JR, editors. Children and exercise XIX: promoting health and well-being. London: E&FN Spon, 1997: 313–8Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alexander J, Molnar GE. Muscular strength in children: preliminary report on objective standards. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1973; 54: 424–7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gilliam TB, Villanacci JF, Freedson PS, et al. Isokinetic torque in boys and girls ages 7 to 13: effect of age, height and weight. Res Q 1979; 50: 599–609Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Housh TJ, Thorland WG, Tharp GD, et al. Isokinetic leg flexion and extension strength of elite adolescent female track and field athletes. Res Q Exerc Sport 1984; 55: 347–50Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Housh TJ, Johnson GO, Housh DJ, et al. Isokinetic peak torque in young wrestlers. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1996; 8: 143–55Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tabin GC, Gregg JR, Bonci T. Predictive leg strength values in immediately prepubescent and postpubescent athletes. Am J Sports Med 1985; 13: 387–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Burnie J, Brodie DA. Isokinetic measurement in preadolescent males. Int J Sports Med 1986; 7: 205–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pfeiffer RD, Francis RS. Effects of strength training on muscle development in prepubescent, pubescent and postpubescent males. Phys Sports Med 1986; 14: 134–43Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rochcongar P, Morvan R, Jan J, et al. Isokinetic investigation of knee extensors and knee flexors in young French soccer players. Int J Sports Med 1988; 9: 448–50PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Burnett CN, Betts EF, King WM. Reliability of isokinetic measurements of hip muscle torque in young boys. Phys Ther 1990; 70: 244–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Falkel J. Plantar flexor strength testing using the Cybex isokinetic dynamometer. Phys Ther 1978; 58: 847–50PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Balageu F, Damidot R, Nordin M, et al. Cross-sectional study of the isokinetic muscle trunk strength among school children. Spine 1993; 18: 208–14Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kellis E, Kellis S, Gerodimos V, et al. Reliability of isokinetic concentric and eccentric strength in circumpubertal soccer players. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1999; 11: 218–28Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Weir JP, Housh TJ, Johnson GO, et al. Allometric scaling of isokinetic peak torque: The Nebraska Wrestling Study. Eur J Appl Physiol 1999; 80: 240–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ellenbecker TS, Roetert EP. Concentric isokinetic quadriceps and hamstring strength in elite junior tennis players. Isokinet Exerc Sci 1995; 5: 3–6Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Calmels P, VanDenBorne I, Nellen M, et al. A pilot study of knee isokinetic strength in young, highly trained, female gymnasts. Isokinet Exerc Sci 1995; 5: 69–74Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Docherty D, Gaul CA. Relationship of body size, physique and composition to physical performance in young boys and girls. Int J Sports Med 1991; 12: 525–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    De Ste Croix MBA, Armstrong N, Welsman JR. Concentric isokinetic leg strength in pre-teen, teenage and adult males and females. Biol Sport 1999; 16: 75–86Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    De Ste Croix MBA, Armstrong N, Welsman JR, et al. Longitudinal changes in isokinetic leg strength in 10–14-year olds. Ann Hum Biol 2002; 29: 50–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hildebrand KA, Mohtadi NG, Kiefer GN, et al. Thigh muscle strength in preadolescent girls. Clin J Sport Med 1994; 4: 108–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    McCubbin JA, Shasby GB. Effects of isokinetic exercise on adolescents with cerebral palsy. Adapt Phys Activ Q 1985; 2: 56–64Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    MacPhail HEA, Kramer JF. Effect of isokinetic strength training on functional ability and walking efficiency in adolescents with cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol 1995; 37: 763–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Weltman A, Tippett S, Janney C, et al. Measurement of isokinetic strength in prepubertal males. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1988; 9: 345–51PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Henderson RC, Howes CL, Erickson KL, et al. Knee flexor-extensor strength in children. J Sports Phys Ther 1993; 18: 559–63Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ramos E, Frontera WR, Llopart A, et al. Muscle strength and hormonal levels in adolescents: gender related differences. Int J Sports Med 1998; 19: 526–31PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Merlini L, Dell’Accio D, Granata C. Reliability of dynamic strength knee muscle testing in children. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1995; 22: 73–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Enoka RM. Eccentric contractions require unique activation strategies by the nervous system. J Appl Physiol 1996; 81: 2339–46PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mohtadi NGH, Kiefer GN, Tedford K, et al. Concentric and eccentric quadriceps torque in pre-adolescent males. Can J Sports Sci 1990; 15: 240–3Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Perrin DH. Isokinetic exercise and assessment. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1993Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kanehisa H, Ikegawa S, Tsunoda N, et al. Strength and cross-sectional areas of reciprocal muscle groups in the upper arm and thigh during adolescence. Int J Sports Med 1995; 16: 54–60PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ramsay JA, Blimkie CJR, Smith K, et al. Strength training effects in prepubescent boys. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1990; 22: 605–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gaul CA. Muscular strength and endurance. In: Docherty D, editor. Measurement in pediatric exercise science. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1996: 225–58Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sunnegardh J, Bratteby LE, Nordesjo LO, et al. Isometric and isokinetic muscle strength, anthropometry and physical activity in 8 and 13 year old Swedish children. Eur J Appl Physiol 1988; 58: 291–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Seger JY, Thorstensson A. Muscle strength and myoelectric activity in prepubertal and adult males and females. Eur J Appl Physiol 1994; 69: 81–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Seger JY, Thorstensson A. Muscle strength and electromyogram in boys and girls followed through puberty. Eur J Appl Physiol 2000; 81: 54–61PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Baltzopoulos V, Kellis E. Isokinetic strength during childhood and adolescence. In: Van Praagh E, editor. Pediatric anaerobic performance. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1998: 225–40Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kellis E, Baltzopoulos V. Gravitational moment correction in isokinetic dynamometry using anthropometric data. Med Sci Sports Excer 1996; 28: 900–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Blimkie CJR, Macauley D. Muscle strength. In: Armstrong N, Van-Mechelen W, editors. Paediatric exercise science and medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001: 23–36Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Gleeson NP, Mercer TH. The utility of isokinetic dynamometry in the assessment of human muscle function. Sports Med 1996; 21: 18–33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Molnar GE, Alexander J. Reliability of quantitative strength measurements in children. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1979; 60: 218–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Bland JM, Altman DG. Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement. Lancet 1986; 8: 307–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Griffin JW, Tooms RE, Zwaag RV, et al. Eccentric muscle performance of elbow and knee muscle groups in untrained men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1993; 25: 936–44PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Kellis S, Kellis E, Gerodimos V, et al. The effects of age on concentric and eccentric moment-angular velocity relationship in elite young football players [abstract]. 3rd Annual Congress, European College of Sports Science; 1998 Jul 15; ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Brooks GA, Fahey TD. Exercise physiology: human bioenergetics and its application. New York: MacMillan, 1985Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Kawakami Y, Kanehisa H, Ikegawa S, et al. Concentric and eccentric muscle strength before, during and after fatigue in 13 year old boys. Eur J Appl Physiol 1993; 67: 121–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Blimkie CJR. Resistance training during preadolescence: issues and controversies. Sports Med 1993; 15: 389–407PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Westing SH, Seger JY, Karlson E, et al. Eccentric and concentric torque-velocity characteristics of the quadriceps femoris in man. Eur J Appl Physiol 1988; 58: 100–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Komi PV, Bosco C. Utilization of stored elastic energy in leg extensor muscles by men and women. Med Sci Sports 1978; 10: 261–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Weir JP. Youth and isokinetic testing. In: Brown LE, editor. Isokinetics in human performance. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 2000: 299–323Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Vanderburgh PM, Mahar MT, Chou CH. Allometric scaling of grip strength by body mass in college-age men and women. Res Q Exerc Sport 1995; 66: 80–4PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Vanderburgh PM, Kusano M, Sharp M, et al. Gender differences in muscular strength: an allometric model approach. Biomed Sci Instrum 1997; 33: 100–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Jaric S, Radosavljevic-Jaric S, Johansson H. Normalisation of muscle force and muscle torque for body size [abstract]. In: Avela J, Komi PV, Komulainen J, editors. 5th Annual Congress, European College of Sport Science; 2000 Jul 19–23: Jyvaskyla. Jyvaskyla: LIKES Research Centre, 2000: 353Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Jaric S. Muscle strength testing: use of normalisation for body size. Sports Med 2002; 32: 615–31PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Nevill AM, Holder RL, Baxter-Jones A, et al. Modelling developmental changes in strength and aerobic power in children. J Appl Physiol 1998; 84: 1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Batterham AM, Birch KM. Allometry of anaerobic performance: a gender comparison. Can J Appl Physiol 1996; 21: 45–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Welsman JR, Armstrong N. Statistical techniques for interpreting body size related exercise performance during growth. Pediatr Exerc Sci 2000; 12: 112–27Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Kanehisa H, Yata H, Ikegawa S, et al. A cross-sectional study of the size and strength of the lower leg muscles during growth. Eur J Appl Physiol 1995; 72: 150–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Blimkie CJR. Age and sex-associated variation in strength during childhood: anthropometric, morphologic, neurologic, biomechanical, endocrinologic, genetic and physical activity correlates. In: Gisolf CV, Lamb DR, editors. Perspectives in exercise science and sports medicine. Vol. 2: youth, exercise and sport. Indianapolis (IN): Benchmark Press, 1989: 99–163Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Asmussen E. Growth in muscular strength and power. In: Rarick GL, editor. Physical activity: human growth and development. New York: Academic Press, 1973: 60–79Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Kanehisa H, Ikegawa S, Tsunoda N, et al. Strength and cross-sectional area of knee extensor muscles in children. Eur J Appl Physiol 1994; 68: 402–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Rasmussen B, Kalusen K, Jespersen B, et al. A longitudinal study of development in growth and maturation of 10- to 15-year old girls and boys. In: Oseid S, Carlsen HK, editors. Children and exercise XIII. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1990: 103–11Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Carron AV, Bailey DA. Strength development in boys from 10 through 16 years. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 1974; 39: 1–37PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Parker DF, Round JM, Sacco P, et al. A cross-sectional survey of upper and lower limb strength in boys and girls during childhood and adolescence. Ann Hum Biol 1990; 17: 199–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Round JM, Jones DA, Honour JW, et al. Hormonal factors in the development of differences in strength between boys and girls during adolescence: a longitudinal study. Ann Hum Biol 1999; 26: 49–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Tanner JM. Growth at adolescence. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific, 1962Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Hansen L, Klausen K, Muller J. Assessment of maturity status and its relation to strength measurements. In: Armstrong N, Kirby B, Welsman JR, editors. Children and exercise XIX: promoting health and well-being. London: E&FN Spon, 1997: 325–30Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Maffulli N, King JB, Helms P. Training in elite young athletes: injuries, flexibility and isometric strength. Br J Sports Med 1994; 28: 123–36PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Housh DJ, Housh TJ, Weir JP, et al. Anthropometric estimation of thigh muscle cross-section. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995; 27: 784–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Blimkie CJR, Sale DG. Strength development and trainability during childhood. In: Van-Praagh E, editor. Pediatric anaerobic performance. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1998: 193–224Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Faust MS. Somatic development of adolescent girls. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 1977; 42: 1–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Malina RM. Growth of muscle tissue and muscle mass. In: Falkner F, Tanner JM, editors. Human growth: a comprehensive treatise. Vol. 2. New York: Plenum Press, 1986: 77–99Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Malina RM. The effects of exercise on specific tissues, dimensions and functions during growth. Stud Phys Anthropol 1979; 5: 21–52Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Malina RM. Anthropometric correlates of strength and motor performance. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 1975; 3: 249–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Housh TJ, Johnson GO, Hughes RA, et al. Isokinetic strength and body composition of high school wrestlers across age. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1989; 21: 105–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Housh TJ, Stout JR, Housh DJ, et al. The covariate influence of muscle mass on isokinetic peak torque in high school wrestlers. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1995; 7: 176–82Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Housh TJ, Stout JR, Weir JP, et al. Relationships of age and muscle mass to peak torque in high school wrestlers. Res Q Exerc Sport 1995; 66: 256–61PubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Malmstrom JE, Lindstrom L. Propogation velocity of muscle action potentials in growing normal child. Muscle Nerve 1997; 20: 403–10PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Blimkie CJR, Ebbesen B, MacDougall D, et al. Voluntary and electrically evoked strength characteristics of obese and non-obese preadolescent boys. Hum Biol 1989; 61: 515–32PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Malina RM. Quantification of fat, muscle and bone in man. Clinic Orthop 1969; 65: 9–38Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Nevill AM. The need to scale for differences in body size and mass: an explanation of Kleiber’s 0.75 mass exponent. J Appl Physiol 1994; 77: 2870–3PubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    De Ste Croix MBA, Armstrong N, Welsman JR, et al. Relationship of muscle strength with muscle volume in young children. In: Armstrong N, Kirby B, Welsman JR, editors. Children and exercise XIX: promoting health and well-being. London: E&FN Spon, 1997: 319–24Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Deighan MA, Armstrong N, De Ste Croix MBA, et al. Peak torque per arm muscle cross-sectional area during growth [abstract]. In: Koskolou M, Geladas N, Klissouras V, editors. 7th Annual Congress, European College of Sport Science; 2002 Jul 24–28; Athens. Athens: Pashalidis Medical Publisher, 2002: 47Google Scholar
  85. 85.
    Deighan MA, Armstrong N, De Ste Croix MBA, et al. Peak torque per MRI-determined cross-sectional area of knee extensors and flexors in children, teenagers and adults [abstract]. 3rd Commonwealth Sports Conference, British Association of Sport and Exercise; 2002 Jul 19; ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Ikai M, Fukunaga T. Calculation of muscle strength per unit cross-sectional area of human muscle by means of ultrasonic measurement. Int Z Angew Physiol Einschl Arbeitsphysiol 1968; 26: 26–32Google Scholar
  87. 87.
    Kanehisa H, Ikegawa S, Fukunaga T. Comparison of muscle cross-sectional area and strength between untrained women and men. Eur J Appl Physiol 1994; 68: 148–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Maughan RJ, Watson JS, Weir J. Strength and cross-sectional area of human skeletal muscle. J Physiol 1983; 338: 37–49PubMedGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Davies CTM. Strength and mechanical properties of muscle in children and young adults. Scand J Sport Sci 1985; 7: 11–5Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    Asai H, Aoki J. Force development of dynamic and static contractions in children and adults. Int J Sports Med 1996; 17: 170–4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    McComas AJ, Sica REP, Petito F. Muscle strength in boys of different ages. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1973; 36: 171–3PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Ryushi T, Hakkinen K, Kauhanen H, et al. Muscle fibre characteristics, muscle cross-sectional area, and force production in strength athletes and physically active males and females. Scand J Sports Sci 1988; 10: 7–15Google Scholar
  93. 93.
    Mayhew JL, Bemben DA. Gender differences in strength and anaerobic power tests. J Hum Move Stud 1994; 26: 227–43Google Scholar
  94. 94.
    Westing SH, Seger JY, Thorstensson A. Effects of electrical stimulation on eccentric and concentric torque-velocity relationships during knee extension in man. Acta Physiol Scand 1990; 140: 17–22PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. 95.
    Westing SH, Seger JY, Karlson E, et al. Eccentric and concentric torque-velocity characteristics of the quadriceps femoris in man. Eur J Appl Physiol 1988; 58: 100–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark B. A. De Ste Croix
    • 1
  • Martine A. Deighan
    • 1
  • Neil Armstrong
    • 1
  1. 1.Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, School of Sport and Health SciencesUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

Personalised recommendations