Thompson, B. J., Ryan, E. D., Sobolewski, E. J., Smith, D. B. Conchola, E. C., Akehi, K., Buckminster, T., & Cramer, J. T. (2012). Isometric rapid torque characteristics as predictors of playing status in division i collegiate football players. Presentation 1863 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study examined the discriminability of maximal isometric strength and rapid torque characteristics among elite Division I collegiate football players (Starters N = 16; Non-starters N = 15). Ss performed two isometric maximal voluntary contractions with the leg flexor and extensor muscle groups with one minute of recovery between each contraction and three minutes of recovery between muscle groups. Peak torque was calculated as the highest 0.5 s epoch of the torque-time curve. Rate of torque development and contractile impulse were determined from the time intervals of 0-30, 0-50, 0-100, and 100-200ms of the torque-time curve. Peak rate of torque development, time to peak rate of torque development and absolute torque (torque at 30, 50, 100 and 200ms) were also calculated.

For the leg flexors, rate-of-torque-development at 30ms, contractile-impulse at 30ms, contractile-impulse at 50ms, and absolute-torque at 30ms were greater and time to peak rate of torque development was shorter for the starters when compared to the non-starters. There were no significant differences between starters and non-starters for maximal isometric peak torque, rate of torque development (peak), and later rapid torque characteristics (>100 ms from onset of contraction) of the leg flexors and all isometric torque and torque-time variables for the leg extensors. The leg extensors were greater for all torque and rapid torque variables and less for time to peak rate of torque development when compared to the leg flexors for all players.

Implication. Early rapid torque-time variables of the leg flexor muscle group may effectively discriminate among playing ability in Division I collegiate football players. It might be appropriate to train early rapid muscle contraction characteristics as a major part of weight training activities for the leg flexors.

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