WHAT IS LEG DOMINANCE?

  • S. Spry
  • C. Zebas
  • M. Visser
Keywords: dominance, foot, leg, hand

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Often in research studies, it is important to assess right and/or left dominance of the hand or foot. Contrary to hand dominance, minimal attention has been given to the concept of leg or foot dominance. In the simplest terms, leg dominance has been determined by which hand is dominant. If one is right-handed, then one must be right leg dominant. If one is left-handed, then one must be left leg dominant. In other instances, leg dominance has been determined by a one-or two-foot item skills test such as kicking a ball or stepping up on a chair. (Harris, 1958; Kovak and Horkvic, 1970; Peters and Durding, 1979; and Porac and Cohen, 1981). It was not until the Chapman et al. (1987) test was designed that a more comprehensive assessment was possible. They developed a test of 13 items which included both manipulative and weight bearing activities. Alrernative tests of leg dominance have been based on the strength of the two legs and how it is related to handedness. Singh (1970) studied the strength of the legs in a pushing activity and found that the right legs of right-handed subjects were no different than their left legs, but found that left-handed subjects had stronger left legs than right legs. On the other hand, Carnahan et al. (1986) and Rosenrot (1980) reported leftfoot superiority in strength of force production in right handers. It also has been implied by some that because the left leg in right-handed people is longer and heavier, it must be stronger (Chibber and Singh, 1970). This has not, however, been fully substantiated. Friberg and Kvist (1988) studied handedness and leg length inequality in athletic jumping performances. They found no relationship between takeoff leg and handedness, but a significant relationship between leg length inequality and takeoff leg. The longer leg generally was the preferred leg. Therefore this study was undertaken to: 1) compare the contralateral strength of the quadricep and hamstring muscles in right and left leg dominant subjects; and 2) compare manipulative and weight bearing activities in right and left leg dominant subjects.