Techniques and considerations for determining isoinertial upper-body power


Power is an integral aspect of many sports. Although power output of the lower body is often measured during jumping and cycling movements, much less is known about power as pertains to the upper body musculature. Recently, isoinertial methods - with constant gravitational load - of power testing have become common, but little is known of the reliability and criterion validity of these tests as they pertain to sport performance. In addition, the varied methodology makes a lucid model more evasive. The aims of this review are to examine the various methods of assessing upper body power, to establish its role in predicting athletic performance, and to assess the body of literature that has assessed power output of the upper extremities by isoinertial methods. To our knowledge, only two studies on isoinertial upper-body power have shown a direct correlation to sporting ability (Baker, 2001; Baker et al., 2001); therefore, many unanswered questions exist as to the efficacy of these tests as predictors of athletic ability or as a method to track athletes' training over time. From this review we hope to allow the sport coach to assess the overall utility of these tests in terms of availability, safety and external validity.

Publication Title

Sports Biomechanics