Prevalence of the Palmaris Longus and its Impact on Grip Strength in Elite Gymnasts and Non-Athletes

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Mirela Eric; Kaissar Yammine; Goran Vasic; Mirjana Dejanovic & Dea Karaba Jakovljevic


In elite athletes, the palmaris longus (PL) presence has a potential contribution to hand strength, smaller reaction time, better shooting speed and power. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of PL in elite competitive artistic gymnasts and its impact on grip strength compared to a control group of moderately active non-athletes. This prospective study included 370 subjects divided in two groups (170 elite artistic gymnasts and 200 moderately active non-athletes, students of medicine). The study consisted of two clinical sets of examination: a search for the clinical presence of PL was initially conducted followed by the assessment of maximal grip strength. Standard and six additional tests were performed to confirm PL tendon absence. Maximal grip strength was measured bilaterally with an electronic hand dynamometer. Bilateral absence was more common than unilateral, predominately noted on left side in both study groups. Unilateral PL absence was correlated to decreased grip strength in students, while the opposite was found in gymnasts. The mean value of grip strength in some age groups was higher on the side where the PL was absent. The results of our study show that the presence of the PL doesn`t affect the hand grip strength in gymnasts. Due to the low incidence of unilateral PL absence, further large-sampled research is warranted to assess PL contribution to hand grip strength and to other hand functions that could be of significant importance for athletes and non-athletes.

KEY WORDS: Palmaris longus muscle; Prevalence; Hand grip strength; Elite athletes; Gymnasts.

How to cite this article

ERIC, M.; YAMMINE, K.; VASIC, G.; DEJANOVIC, M. & KARABA JAKOVLJEVIC, D. Prevalence of the palmaris longus and its impact on grip strength in elite gymnasts and non-athletes. Int. J. Morphol., 37(4):1361-1369, 2019.