Nicholas J. Spokely1, Shawn M. F. Allen1, Katy E. Whitt1, & *Breanne S. Baker1

1 Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Muscular power is a strong predictor of fall risk in older adults; thus, this fitness parameter should be tracked across the lifespan. Muscular power assessments can be laboratory-based, such as knee extension on an isokinetic dynamometer (DYNA), or field-based, such as the five repetition sit-to-stand (5STS). Despite these tests being validated, they only measure lower-body power, and there is currently no safe, validated, field test of total-body muscular power for older adults. PURPOSE: This study aimed to validate a novel standing medicine ball toss (SMBT) as a measurement for total-body power across the lifespan. METHODS: Eighty participants (male n=35, female n=45; mean age= 50.8 years ± 21.4) were recruited and asked to perform DYNA, 5STS, and SMBT, in that respective order. For DYNA, five repetitions were performed at a knee extension speed of 180°/s, while 5STS involved five sit-to-stands as quickly as possible. Lastly, SMBT required a ten-pound medicine ball to be tossed three times in a chest pass motion from a rotational countermovement position. Statistical analyses included Pearson Correlations to determine the relationships between the three tests, α≤0.05. RESULTS: Relationships between the three tests are shown in Figure 1. Significant correlations were found between SMBT and DYNA (r=0.792; p<.001), SMBT and 5STS (r=-0.513; p<0.001), and DYNA and 5STS (r=-0.424; p<0.001). Additionally, the intraclass correlation coefficients for all three muscle power tests were high indicating good test-retest reliability (SMBT=0.980 to 0.995; DYNA=0.922 to 0.982; 5STS=0.939 to 0.986). CONCLUSION: This study revealed that SMBT is a valid and reliable assessment of total-body muscle power as shown by the significant correlations between SMBT and DYNA and SMBT and 5STS. Based on these findings, SMBT should be used to track muscle power throughout the lifespan and assess the efficacy of exercise-programs designed to enhance muscle power.

Figure 1.docx (108 kB)
Figure 1

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