Chemie  |  Biochemie  |  Medizin


Meret Güttinger, 2004 | Chur, GR


Lower inter-limb asymmetries have become a topic of increasing interest in sports research. The main focus has been the association of asymmetries to either enhanced injury risk or reduced physical performance. Sport specific aspects and differences of lower limb asymmetries have not often been analysed. Additionally, only very few studies have been performed with female athletes. These two aspects were therefore addressed in the present study. The results show that soccer is more asymmetric than floorball, leading to the suggestion that inter-limb asymmetries may not only be task-specific, but also sport-specific. Further, inter-limb asymmetries seem to be independent of leg dominance.


Lower limb asymmetries are a known risk factor in sport-associated injuries. Numerous studies have investigated the occurrence of between-limb differences in a variety of physical tests, ranging from strength, sprinting, and change of direction speed to jumping tasks and related them to injury risk and physical performance. Most studies have been performed with male athletes even though women present higher prevalence of lower limb asymmetries in strength, coordination, and postural control than men. Additionally, sport-specific aspects have often been neglected. The aim of this study was to assess sport-specific interlimb asymmetries in female athletes.


Eighteen female youth soccer players and eighteen female youth floorball players completed a test battery consisting of six unilateral jumping tasks in horizontal and lateral direction to detect sport specificity in inter-limb asymmetries. The scores of every jump were calculated into Limb Symmetry Indexes for each participant. To statistically evaluate the effects of sport and jump type on asymmetry a linear mixed effect model was used.


There was a significantly higher magnitude of asymmetries in soccer compared to floorball with a mean difference of 1.9%. The different jumps used in the test battery revealed different aspects of inter-limb asymmetries. Moreover, the results showed no significant effect of leg dominance.


According to the findings of this study, soccer appears to lead to greater asymmetries than floorball, suggesting that inter-limb asymmetries are sport-specifically influenced. Additionally, significant differences between the results of the jump tests used in the test battery support the suggestion of previous studies that inter-limb asymmetries are task-specific. Since no significant correlations were detected, this study suggests that inter-limb asymmetries are independent of leg dominance.


Considering the possible reduction in athletic performance and increasing injury risk, strength and conditioning coaches are advised to assess athletes› inter-limb asymmetries using a broad, sport specific test battery and decrease them.



Würdigung durch die Expertin

Dr. Miriam Altermatt

Motiviert durch grosses persönliches Interesse an der Thematik hat Meret Güttinger in der vorgelegten Arbeit eine spannende Studie zum Thema Asymmetrien der unteren Extremitäten im Sport selbständig durchgeführt. Den Fokus hat sie auf junge, weibliche Athletinnen gelegt und zwei verschiedene Sportarten miteinander verglichen. Dadurch hat sie bisher vernachlässigte Aspekte dieses Forschungsgebietes aufgegriffen. Die Arbeit besticht aber nicht nur durch die gewählte Fragestellung, sondern auch durch den sauberen Studienaufbau, die sorgfältige Datenauswertung und die fundierte Diskussion.



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