Developmental changes and predictability of static strength in individuals of different maturity: a 30-year longitudinal study

J Sports Sci. 2009 Jun;27(8):833-41. doi: 10.1080/02640410902874711.


This longitudinal study analyses the development and predictability of static strength and their interactions with maturation in youth. Of 515 children followed annually from age 6 to 18 years, 59 males and 60 females were measured again at age 35. Early, average, and late maturity groups were established. Body height and mass were assessed. Static strength was measured using handgrip dynamometry. Pearson correlations were used as tracking coefficients. From 6 to 12 years of age, no static strength differences were found to exist between the maturity groups of both sexes. Static strength is significantly higher in early than in average and late maturing boys (age 13-16). In girls, a dose-response effect exists (age 11-14). Adult static strength predictability is low in early maturing boys and late maturing girls. It is moderate to high (50-76%) in the other maturity groups up to age 14. Predictors for adult static strength are childhood and adolescent handgrip dynamometry (in females only), medicine ball throw, sit-up, hockey ball throw, and 25-m sprint. Handgrip is a fair predictor of adult static strength at most ages in early and average maturing females; in average maturing males, it is a predictor at age 11. Other indicators of strength (e.g. hockey ball throw) are predictors in males.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Female
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Sex Factors