Ivana Petrović, Ioannis G. Amiridis, Eleftherios Kellis, Daniel Stankovic

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The purpose of the present empirical study was to assess the differences in dominance between lower limb maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and neural activation. Twenty active and right-leg dominant (age: 31.3 ± 9.5 years, height: 178.2 ± 7.6 cm, weight: 76.5 ± 11.0 kg) participants performed 3 maximal dorsal flexions (DF) and plantar flexions (PF) at 3 ankle angles (75°, 90°: anatomical position, and 105°) which corresponded to short, intermediate and long lengths for DF muscles and the opposite for PF muscles. Electromyography (EMG) was used to assess ankle muscle activity (tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius medialis and soleus). The results showed non-significant differences between lower limb MVC force and EMG-muscle activation. However, a significant main effect of the angle was observed. During DF, the MVC force was greater (p < 0.05) at 90° and 105° than at 75° for both legs and during PF, the MVC force was greater (p < 0.05) at 75° and 105° than at 90° for both legs. Moreover, during DF and PF, the EMG-muscle activation was greater (p < 0.05) at 105° than at 75° an 90° for both legs. The results indicate that dominance was not associated with different levels of force and neural activation during maximal voluntary contraction with the ankle muscles. It is concluded that dominance does not have an impact on maximal strength and neural activation of the ankle muscles and any mechanisms that contribute to the  dominance effect were not evident within this experimental protocol.


Leg dominance, maximal voluntary isometric contraction, electromyographic muscle activation, dominant leg, non-dominant leg, force, lower limb

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