Determinants of whole-body maximal aerobic performance in young male and female athletes: The roles of lower extremity muscle size, strength and power

Takaki Yamagishi, Akira Saito, Yasuo Kawakami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study sought to determine whether lower extremity muscle size, power and strength could be a determinant of whole-body maximal aerobic performance in athletes. 20 male and 19 female young athletes (18 ± 4 years) from various sporting disciplines participated in this study. All athletes performed a continuous ramp-incremental cycling to exhaustion for the determination of peak oxygen uptake (VO _2peak: the highest VO _2 over a 15-s period) and maximal power output (MPO: power output corresponding to VO _2peak). Axial scanning of the right leg was performed with magnetic resonance imaging, and anatomical cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of quadriceps femoris (QF) and hamstring muscles at 50% of thigh length were measured. Moreover, bilateral leg extension power and unilateral isometric knee extension and flexion torque were determined. All variables were normalised to body mass, and six independent variables (VO _2peak, CSAs of thigh muscles, leg extension power and knee extension and flexion torque) were entered into a forward stepwise multiple regression model with MPO being dependent variable for males and females separately. In the males, VO _2peak was chosen as the single predictor of MPO explaining 78% of the variance. In the females, MPO was attributed to, in the order of importance, VO _2peak (p < 0.001) and the CSA of QF (p = 0.011) accounting for 84% of the variance. This study suggests that while oxygen transport capacity is the main determinant of MPO regardless of sex, thigh muscle size also has a role in whole-body maximal aerobic performance in female athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0262507
JournalPloS one
Volume17
Issue number1 January
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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