Evaluating Injury Risk in First and Second League Professional Portuguese Soccer: Muscular Strength and Asymmetry

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Alberto Carvalho, Scott Brown, Eduardo Abade

Strength imbalances between the hamstrings and quadriceps are an essential predictor for hamstring strain in soccer. The study aimed to investigate and compare the muscle strength imbalances of professional soccer players of different performance levels. One hundred and fifty nine senior male professional soccer players from first (n = 75) and second league (n = 84) Portuguese clubs participated in this study. Muscle strength was evaluated with a REV9000 isokinetic dynamometer. Maximal peak torque data were used to calculate quadriceps and hamstrings strength during concentric and eccentric actions, bilateral asymmetry, conventional strength ratios and dynamic control ratios. Second league athletes produced slightly lower conventional strength ratios in the right and left legs (ES = 0.22, p = 0.17 and ES = 0.36, p = 0.023, respectively) compared to the first league athletes. No significant differences were found in dynamic control ratios or in bilateral asymmetry among first and second league athletes. These findings do not show a clear link between the competitive level and injury risk in soccer players. However, some of the differences found, particularly in conventional strength ratios, highlight the importance of performing off-season and pre-season strength assessments to prescribe and adjust individual strength training programs among professional soccer players.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2015-0166
Key words
dynamometry, isokinetic strength, H:Q ratios, muscle imbalances,

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