The novel test based on isometric alternating consecutive maximal contractions performed by two antagonisticmuscles has been recently proposed as a test of muscle function in healthy subjects. The aim of this study was toevaluate reliability and sensitivity of a novel test as a test of knee muscles function in athletes recovering from anteriorcruciate ligament reconstruction. Fifteen male athletes with recent ligament reconstruction (4.0 ± 0.1 months followingthe surgery) and 15 sport and physical education students participated in the study. Peak torques of the quadriceps andhamstring muscles assessed both through the alternating consecutive maximal contractions and standard isokinetic testperformed at 60 º/s and 180 º/s served for calculation of the hamstrings-to-quadriceps ratio and the bilateral differencein strength. When applied on individuals recovering from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, the novel testrevealed a high within-day reliability and sensitivity for detecting imbalances both between antagonistic and betweencontralateral muscles. The present findings suggest that alternating consecutive maximal contractions could be used asa test of muscle function that is either complementary or alternative to the isokinetic test, particularly in thelaboratories where the isokinetic devices are not available. Potential advantages of the novel test could be both a brieftesting procedure and a possibility to conduct it using relatively inexpensive devices such as custom made kitscontaining a single one-axis force transducer.
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