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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003 May;89(3-4):238-42. Epub 2003 Mar 25.

Growth trend of the quadriceps femoris muscle in junior Olympic weight lifters: an 18-month follow-up survey.

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Department of Life Sciences (Sports Sciences), University of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguro-ku, 153-8902 Tokyo, Japan.


Isometric torque and the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the quadriceps femoris muscle (QF) were measured twice at an interval of 18 months in seven junior Olympic weight lifters (aged 15.5-17.1 years at the start of the study) to investigate the growth trend of this muscle group in junior athletes specializing in strength and power events. The CSAs of the QF and its four constituent muscles were determined at 30% (proximal to the knee), 50%, and 70% of femur length (Fl) using a magnetic resonance imaging method. Only at 30%Fl were significant increases found in the CSAs of the QF and all constituent muscles, except for the rectus femoris. At this level, the CSA of the vastus medialis relative to the QF decreased significantly, suggesting a predominant hypertrophy in the vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis muscles. Isometric torque during knee extension increased significantly compared, to the CSA for the QF measured at the three levels. Thus, the present results indicate that, at least at high school age, the QF for junior Olympic weight lifters is characterized by a preferential hypertrophy at the level proximal to the knee joint, with an increase in knee extension torque relative to the CSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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