Mikaila L. Davis1, Jordan M. Glenn1, 2, Rodger Stewart1, 2, Carly Arnold1, Landon Lavene1, Aaron Martinez1, Lauren Wethington1, 2 & Michelle Gray1, 2

University of Arkansas - 1Human Performance Lab, 2Office for Studies on Aging, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Hand-grip strength (HG) is a significant predictor of longitudinal functionality and mortality in aging populations. However, this only pertains to the general population of older adults and cannot necessarily be extrapolated to physical performance in masters athletes (MA). The ability to use HG to predict sport-related performance variables would be invaluable to MA as it would alleviate the need for specialized and often expensive testing procedures. PURPOSE: Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate HG as a predictor of power, torque, and ability to perform work in female MA cyclists. METHODS: Twenty-one female MA cyclists (age = 53.3 ± 1.0 years, height = 163.15 ± 1.59 cm, weight = 64.70 ± 2.92 kg) with a minimum of two years competitive cycling experience participated in this study. A hand-held dynamometer was used to assess HG. The dynamometer was sized to the athlete and was then squeezed maximally for 3 seconds. Three trials were performed with one minute rest allotted between trials. A lower-body isokinetic dynamometer was used to evaluate average power, peak torque, and total work performed using a 50-repetition protocol with 240º eccentric/180º concentric movement parameters. RESULTS: Regression analysis revealed that HG was significantly related to measures of average power (R2 = .44, p = .001), peak torque (R2 = .50, p = R2 = .44, p =.001) on the lower-body isokinetic dynamometer. CONCLUSION: Based on current results, we conclude that although HG can predict levels of functionality in aging individuals, these results can be expanded to predict measures of performance in MA. This indicates MA can potentially evaluate the success of training programs and progressions without the requirement of sophisticated and/or expensive laboratory testing procedures. Future research needs to be expanded to include males and other sports as these results are internally valid only to female MA cyclists.

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