The effect of leg strength on the incidence of lower extremity overuse injuries during military training

Jay R. Hoffman, Leah Chapnik, Ari Shamis, Uri Givon, Benjamin Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effects of strength, aerobic fitness, and activity profile on the incidence of overuse injuries, particularly stress fractures, during military training. A total of 136 military recruits were followed during 9 weeks of basic training. Maximal strength and aerobic fitness were determined by a one-repetition maximum leg press and a 2,000-m run, respectively. An activity profile was determined by the recruit's activity history. Twelve recruits (8.8%) were diagnosed with stress fractures. Recruits who were 1 SD below the population mean in both absolute (98.4 ± 366 kg) and relative strength (1.72 ± 0.61 kg/kg of body weight) had a five times greater risk for stress fracture (p < 0.05) than stronger recruits. Poor aerobic fitness did not appear to be related to any increased incidence of stress fracture. It appears that recruits with lower body strength levels, within 1 SD of the population mean, have a reduced incidence of stress fractures during military training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume164
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

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