View Full Version : Summary - dominant lower limb

Nicola Maffiuletti
03-25-2003, 01:36 AM
Dear List Members,

My original question was:

"For a resistance training program to be performed unilaterally, how do you determine the lower limb to be trained (and consequently the controlateral to be tested for cross-training effect), i.e., the dominant or the non-dominant ?"

Thank you to the people who responded - for most of them the dominant lower limb is the one used to kick (spontaneously) a ball.

According to the ensemble of the suggestions, in our lab we've realised a short questionnaire (5 questions) based on daily-living activities, i.e. foot used to 1) kick a ball, 2) jump off, 3) climb the first stair step, 4) get up from the bed and 5) the dominant hand.

A summary of the answers follows below.

Howard J. Hillstrom

"My suggestion comes more from common sense than science but if you roll a soccer ball towards the midline of your subject and ask them to kick it they will probably select their dominant lower limb. If you wish to increase your confidence repeat the experiment three times. Unless someone has a lower extremity pathology or trauma to the dominant lower limb it would be naturally selected for the task."

Dale Braun

"The simplest way I can imagine is by asking what foot they kick a soccer/football with. It will depend on your definition of dominant!"

Philip Helliwell

"The dominant leg is generally felt to be the one you put into your pants first, or the one with which you kick a football."

Marina Torre

In 1995, to validate an instrument for the analysis of the ankle joint developed in our laboratory, we tested some subjects comparing their dominant and non-dominant limb. We defined dominant the limb with which the subject spontaneously gave a kick to a ball. It was interesting to find that the dominant side for arm and leg often was different.

Marco Cardinale

"The strongest, according to MVC test (or power)."

Mark Poulter

"How about asking your subjects to kick a ball against a wall for a couple of minutes whilst you observe them. I imagine that they are most likely to use their dominant leg to do the majority of the kicking.

As to which leg you should train, how about training the dominant leg in half of the subjects in your intervention group and training the non-dominant leg in the other half? (this supposes that you have enough subjects).

I don't suppose a cross-over study design would help, because the initial training of one limb and the subsequent training of the other might well have very different effects (due to the first block of training possibly having a different effect on the nervous system than the second block of training)."

Nat Benjanuvatra

"I am not sure if this is relevant but have you considered using degree of lateral preference (footedness, in your case) as determinant. As a preliminary study, we recently looked at the GRF of the left and right limb during a two legged counter-movement jump. Asymmetry indices were calculated for the peak force and the impulse data. Our results indicated a moderate correlation between degree of footedness (obtained from a questionnaire) and both the asymmetry indices.

You may also find this reference helpful!

Peters, M. (1988) Fotteness: Asymmetries in Foot Preference and Skill and Neuropsychological assessment of Foot Movement. Psychological Bulletin, 103(2), 179-192."

Bill Barfield

"In soccer kicking studies I have conducted we ask the player to choose their preferred leg to kick with. This is the dominant limb."

Jennifer Baird

"Dominance in either the upper or lower limb is usually determined by a number of tests. For example, in the lower limb, have the subject (a) kick a ball (the leg the use is dominant) (b) climb up a set of stairs 3 times (the leg they lead with is dominant) or (c) walk from standing still (the leg that they lead with is dominant). Usually more than one of these is used, with the determination of "dominant" being that which is used in most of the tests."

Karen Reed

"I have not preformed such testing myself, but have been a participant in studies in which dominance needed to be determined. I was asked questions such as: Which foot do you kick a ball with? (you generally kick with your dominant foot) and, Which foot do you jump off of? (you might check, but I believe people generally leap with their dominant foot in the air first) You might check studies in the area of psychology for a list of such questions."

Jenny Scales

"What I have been told is that the dominate LE is the LE that if when someone was to kick a ball it would the leg of their preference. I am not sure about the cross-training effect. I would, however, be consistent with the dominance of the leg being trained and tested amongst the subjects."

Randall Jensen

"We typically have asked the subject which foot they consider to be their better kicking foot and deem that the dominant."

Kurt E. Keenan Jr

"The dominant lower limb is the one used to kick a ball."

Ciao - Nik

Inserm/Erit-m laboratory 0207 - Motricité/Plasticité

Faculty of Sport Science
BP 27877 - 21078 Dijon cedex
Phn (+33) 380396758 - Fax (+33) 380396702

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