DOI: 10.1519/jsc.0000000000004422 ISSN: 1064-8011

Effect of a High-Intensity Handball-Specific Fatigue Protocol Focused on the Leg Contralateral to the Throwing Arm on Interlimb Asymmetries

Danica Janicijevic, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Sergio Miras-Moreno, Manuel Ortega-Becerra, Maria Dolores Morenas-Aguilar, Darjan Smajla, Nejc Sarabon, Amador García-Ramos
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • General Medicine


Janicijevic, D, Pérez-Castilla, A, Miras-Moreno, S, Ortega-Becerra, M, Morenas-Aguilar, MD, Smajla, D, Sarabon, N, and García-Ramos, A. Effect of a high-intensity handball-specific fatigue protocol focused on the leg contralateral to the throwing arm on interlimb asymmetries. J Strength Cond Res 37(7): 1382–1389, 2023—This study aimed to elucidate which countermovement jump (CMJ) variant (unilateral or bilateral) is more sensitive to detect the decrement in kinetic CMJ-derived variables of the leg more actively involved in a handball-specific fatigue protocol. Seventeen female handball players (age: 20.6 ± 2.5 years) performed a fatigue protocol consisting of 8 repetitions of the following circuit separated by 10 seconds: 10 m sprint, 180° change of direction with the leg contralateral to the throwing arm, 10 m sprint with ball reception at 7 m, and handball throw preceded by a jump over a 40 cm hurdle with the leg contralateral to the throwing arm. Before and after the fatigue protocol, 6 unilateral CMJs (3 with each leg) and 3 bilateral CMJs were performed on a dual Kistler force platform (model 9260AA6). Bilateral CMJ height was reduced by 5.4% after the fatigue protocol (p < 0.001). However, the fatigue protocol did not promote any significant change in peak force, mean force, and propulsive impulse or in their asymmetry values (17 of 18 comparisons). The decrement of 6.1% during the unilateral CMJ in the propulsive impulse developed by the leg ipsilateral to the throwing arm (less involved in the fatigue protocol) was the only variable that reached statistical significance (p = 0.038). The pre-post fatigue changes in asymmetry values presented negligible correlations between both CMJ variants (r s = 0.01 to −0.19). These results suggest that neither unilateral nor bilateral CMJs are able to detect changes in interlimb asymmetries after a high-intensity handball-specific fatigue protocol.

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