Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Interlimb asymmetry in collegiate American football players: Effects on combine-related performance

Nicolas Mathias Philipp, Matthew J. Garver, Derek A. Crawford, Dustin W. Davis, Josie N. Hair



The assessment of interlimb asymmetry has been of interest to researchers and practitioners who desire to maximize sport performance. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between interlimb asymmetry and Combine-related performance testing in collegiate American football players. Twenty-four skill position players (e.g., running backs, defensive backs, and wide receivers) from a Division II university completed all study-related procedures including unilateral countermovement (CMJ) and drop jumps on a force plate, 3-repetition maximum Bulgarian split squats with bar movement tracked by a 3D motion capture system, and their annual spring performance tests (L-drill, pro-agility, 40-yard dash, broad jump, and vertical jump). Using an alpha-level of .05, significant, positive Spearman’s correlations between performance in the L-drill test (Change of Direction test; CoD) and asymmetries in mean peak velocity (rs = .491, p = .015), mean peak power (rs = .467, p = .021), and mean average power (rs = .455, p = .026) were observed. A significant, negative Pearson correlation between unilateral CMJ height asymmetry and vertical jump performance was observed (r = .578, p = .003). Asymmetry in mean peak velocity, mean peak power, and mean average power may negatively influence CoD ability within collegiate American football players.


Assessment; Performance; Training; Team sport; Strength


Bishop, C., Brashill, C., Abbott, W., Read, P., Lake, J., & Turner, A. (2019). Jumping Asymmetries Are Associated With Speed, Change of Direction Speed, and Jump Performance in Elite Academy Soccer Players. J Strength Con Res, 1.

Bishop, C., Read, P., Brazier, J., Jarvis, P., Chavda, S., Bromley, T., & Turner, A. (2019). Effects of Interlimb Asymmetries on Acceleration and Change of Direction Speed. J Strength Con Res, 1.

Bishop, C., Read, P., Chavda, S., Jarvis, P., Brazier, J., Bromley, T., & Turner, A. (2020). Magnitude or Direction? Seasonal Variation of Interlimb Asymmetry in Elite Academy Soccer Players. J Strength Con Res, EPub Ahead.

Bishop, C., Read, P., Lake, J., Chavda, S., & Turner, A. (2018). Inter-Limb Asymmetries: Understanding how to Calculate Differences From Bilateral and Unilateral Tests. Strength Cond J, Epub Ahead.

Bishop, C., Read, P., McCubbine, J., & Turner, A. (2018). Vertical and Horizontal Asymmetries are Related to Slower Sprinting and Jump Performance in Elite Youth Female Soccer Players. J Strength Con Res, Publish Ah.

Bishop, C., Turner, A., Maloney, S., Lake, J., Loturco, I., Bromley, T., & Read, P. (2019). Eccentric and concentric jumpin performance during augmented jumps with elastic resistance: A meta-analysis. Sports, 7(1), 29.

Bishop, C., Turner, A., Maloney, S., Lake, J., Loturco, I., Bromley, T., & Read, P. (2019). Drop Jump Asymmetry is Associated with Reduced Sprint and Change-of-Direction Speed Performance in Adult Female Soccer Players. Sports, 7(1), 29.

Bishop, C., Turner, A., & Read, P. (2018). Effects of Inter-limb Asymmetries on Physical and Sports Performance: A Systematic Review. J Sport Sci, 36(10), 1135–1144.

Bradford, L. (2017). The Reliability and Validity of Measuring Devices for Measuring Mechanical Power (University of Kansas). Retrieved from

Flanagan, E. P., & Comyns, T. M. (2008). The Use of Contact Time and the Reactive Strength Index to Optimize Fast Stretch-Shortening Cycle Training. Strength Cond J, 30(5), 32–38.

Fullagar, H. H. K., McCunn, R., & Murray, A. (2017). Updated Review of the Applied Physiology of American College Football: Physical Demands, Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition, and Injury Characteristics of America’s Favorite Game. Int J Sport Physiol, 12(10), 1396–1403.

Haff, G. G., & Tripplet, N. T. (2016). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 4th Edition.

Helme, M., Bishop, C., Emmonds, S., & Low, C. (2019). Validity and Reliability of the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 5 Repetition Maximum to Determine Unilateral Leg Strength Symmetry. J Strength Con Res, 33(12), 3269–3275.

Hobara, H., Inoue, K., Omuro, K., Muraoka, T., & Kanosue, K. (2011). Determinant of leg stiffness during hopping is frequency-dependent. Euro J Appl Physiol, 111(9), 2195–2201.

Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Klatt, M., Faigenbaum, A. D., & Kang, J. (2007). Do Bilateral Power Deficits Influence Direction-Specific Movement Patterns? Res Sports Med, 15(2), 125–132.

Impellizzeri, F. M., Rampinini, E., Maffiuletti, N., & Marcora, S. M. (2007). A Vertical Jump Force Test for Assessing Bilateral Strength Asymmetry in Athletes. Med Sci Sport Exer, 39(11), 2044–2050.

Jones, P., Thomas, C., Dos’Santos, T., McMahon, J., & Graham-Smith, P. (2017). The Role of Eccentric Strength in 180° Turns in Female Soccer Players. Sports, 5(2), 42.

Kipp, K., Kiely, M. T., & Geiser, C. F. (2016). Reactive Strength Index Modified Is a Valid Measure of Explosiveness in Collegiate Female Volleyball Players. J Strength Con Res, 30(5), 1341–1347.

Koch, A., O’Bryant, H. S., Stone, M. E., Sanborn, K., Proulx, C., Hruby, J., … Stone, M. H. (2003). Effect of Warm-Up on the Standing Broad Jump in Trained and Untrained Men and Women. J Strength Con Res, 17(4), 710.

Kuzmits, F. E., & Adams, A. J. (2008). The NFL Combine: Does It Predict Performance in the National Football League? J Strength Con Res, 22(6), 1721–1727.

LaPlaca, D. A., & McCullick, B. A. (2020). National Football League Scouting Combine Tests Correlated to National Football League Player Performance. J Strength Con Res, 34(5), 1317–1329.

Lockie, R., Risso, F., Lazar, A., Giuliano, D., Stage, A., Liu, T., … Moreno, M. (2017). Between-Leg Mechanical Differences as Measured by the Bulgarian Split-Squat: Exploring Asymmetries and Relationships with Sprint Acceleration. Sports, 5(3), 65.

Madruga-Parera, M., Bishop, C., Beato, M., Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, A., Gonzalo-Skok, O., & Romero-Rodríguez, D. (2019). Relationship Between Interlimb Asymmetries and Speed and Change of Direction Speed in Youth Handball Players. J Strength Con Res, 1.

Madruga-Parera, M., Bishop, C., Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, A., Beltran-Valls, M. R., Skok, O. G., & Romero-Rodríguez, D. (2020). Interlimb Asymmetries in Youth Tennis Players: Relationships With Performance. J Strength Con Res, 34(10), 2815–2823.

McCurdy K, Langford GA, Cline AL, Doscher M, Hoff R. (2004). The Reliability of 1- and 3Rm Tests of Unilateral Strength in Trained and Untrained Men and Women. J Sports Sci Med.;3(3):190-6. PMID: 24482597; PMCID: PMC3905302.

Peterson, M. D., Alvar, B. A., & Rhea, M. R. (2006). The Contribution of Maximal Force Production to Explosive Movement Among Young Collegiate Athletes. J Strength Con Res, 20(4), 867.

Robbins, D. W. (2012). Relationships Between National Football League Combine Performance Measures. J Strength Con Res, 26(1), 226–231.

Spiteri, T., Nimphius, S., Hart, N. H., Specos, C., Sheppard, J. M., & Newton, R. U. (2014). Contribution of Strength Characteristics to Change of Direction and Agility Performance in Female Basketball Athletes. J Strength Con Res, 28(9), 2415–2423.

Taber, C., Bellon, C., Abbott, H., & Bingham, G. E. (2016). Roles of Maximal Strength and Rate of Force Development in Maximizing Muscular Power. Strength Con J, 38(1), 71–78.


Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.