Title

Can isometric torque – time characteristics predict playing level in Division I American collegiate football players?

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Volume

27

Issue

3

Publisher

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Publication Date

3-1-2013

First Page

655

Last Page

661

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if maximal and rapid isometric torque characteristics could discriminate starters from nonstarters in elite Division I American collegiate football players. Sixteen starters (mean ± SD: age = 20.81 ± 1.28 years; height = 184.53 ± 6.58 cm; and mass = 108.69 ± 22.16 kg) and 15 nonstarters (20.40 ± 1.68 years; 182.27 ± 10.52 cm; and 104.60 ± 22.44 kg) performed isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) of the leg flexor and extensor muscle groups. Peak torque (PT), rate of torque development (RTD), the time to peak RTD (TTRTDpeak), contractile impulse (IMPULSE), and absolute torque values (TORQUE) at specific time intervals were calculated from a torque-time curve. The results indicated significant and nonsignificant differences between starters and nonstarters for the early rapid leg flexion torque characteristics that included RTD, IMPULSE, and TORQUE at 30 and 50 milliseconds, and TTRTDpeak. These variables also demonstrated the largest effect sizes of all the variables examined (0.71-0.82). None of the leg extensor variables, leg flexion PT, or later leg flexion rapid torque variables (≥ 100 milliseconds) were significant discriminators of playing level. These findings suggest that the early rapid leg flexion torque variables may provide an effective and sensitive muscle performance measurement in the identification of collegiate football talent. Further, coaches and practitioners may use these findings when designing training programs for collegiate football players with the intent to maximize rapid leg flexion characteristics.

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