• Methods for Measuring Leg Asymmetries
    Leg asymmetries can be assessed using a variety of equipment and variable options. Learn about the different ways to measure leg asymmetries in athletes.
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  • Leg Assymetries in SportLeg asymmetries can be assessed using a variety of equipment and variable options. The most cost-effective option uses a manual reading from a tape measure for jump distance and motion analysis from video footage for jump distance and/or jump height. However this approach leaves room for manual error.

    Force plate data and contact mat data can also be used to calculate jump distance and height, but may not fit within many organizations’ budgets. Therefore, if the force plate /contact mat equipment is not easily accessible, video and/or manual data collection will still provide you with the information you need to calculate asymmetry magnitudes.

    Meylan et. al. (3) and Hewit et. al. (2) both reported different average symmetry index (ASI) magnitudes when using distance , force and power measures across the vertical, horizontal and lateral directions. While all three variables provided valuable information when identifying large ASI magnitudes, peak power (Power = force x velocity)identified a greater number of magnitudes above the 10-15% threshold than did peak force or distance/height.

    While access to equipment and knowledge of equipment operation and data analysis are contributing factors to the method of calculation selected, peak power, peak force or jump distance/height measures can all be used to calculate ASI magnitudes using the following equation (1): ASI = [1 - dominant leg/non-dominant leg] x 100

    To learn more about calculating and interpreting ASI magnitudes, please refer to the following source articles:
    • Hewit J, Cronin J, and Hume P. Multidirectional leg asymmtery assessment in sport. Strength & Conditioning Journal 34: 82-86, 2012.
    • Hewit JK, Cronin JB, and Hume PA. Asymmetry in multi-directional jumping tasks. Physical Therapy in Sport. 
    • Meylan C, Nosaka K, Green J, and Cronin J. Temporal and kinetic analysis of unilateral jumping in the vertical, horizontal, and lateral directions. Journal of Sports Sciences 28: 545-554, 2010
  • Jennifer Hewit

    About the Author:

    Dr. Jennifer K. Hewit, PhD, CSCS

    Dr. Jennifer K. Hewit, PhD, CSCS, received her PhD in Biomechanics/Strength and Conditioning from AUT University where she developed a sport-specific agility assessment battery for Netball New Zealand. She now works for the NSCA as an Education Coordinator and continues her sport-specific agility research through various sporting organizations.

    REFERENCES →


    1. Hoffman, J, Ratamess, N, Klatt, M, Faigenbaum, A, and Kang, J. Do bilateral power deficits influence direction-specific movement patterns? Research in Sports Medicine 15: 125-132, 2007.
    2. McElveen, M, Riemann, B, and Davies, G. Bilateral comparison of propulsion mechanics during single-leg vertical jumping. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24: 375-382, 2010.
    3. Noyes, F, Barber, S, and Mangine, R. Abnormal lower limb symmetry determined by functional hop tests after anterior cruciate ligament rupture. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 19: 513-518, 1991.
    4. Paterno, M, Ford, K, Myer ,G, Heyl, R, and Hewett, T. Limb asymmetries in landing and jumping 2 years following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine 17: 258-262, 2007.

  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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