Sex differences in triple extensor rate of torque development may explain variance in vertical jump performance Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/9w032513z

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  • Background: While males generally outperform females in athletic tasks, the underlying mechanisms for this difference remain unclear. Explosive neuromuscular performance of the triple extensors, often investigated via rate of torque development (RTD), is crucial for athletic tasks such as a vertical jump. Purpose: To assess sex differences in rapid torque development of the triple extensors. Methods: 30 participants (15 male and 15 female) were measured for maximal vertical jump height and RTD of the knee extensors, hip extensors, and ankle plantar flexors during an isometric contraction were calculated at two time intervals (onset of torque to 50 and 200 ms after torque onset, respectively). Separate 2 (Sex) x 2 (Time) mixed-model ANOVAs were utilized to examine the influences of sex and contraction phase on explosive torque production. Results: Males exhibited greater early and late phase knee (p<.001) and ankle (p=.009) extensor RTD. Hip RTD from 0-200 ms was greater than hip RTD form 0-50 ms for both sexes (p<.001). At the knee, males displayed a greater difference in RTD compared to females during the interval from 0-50 ms than from 0-200 ms (p<.001). Conclusion: Early RTD is more closely associated with neural drive. As a result, the greater difference in RTD between males and females during KNEE50 compared to KNEE200 indicates that males are likely able to produce greater neural drive to the knee extensors during the early stages of contraction that h may in part explain sex differences in vertical jump height. Future training programs should emphasize neural targeted training to optimize performance gains, especially in female athletes.
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