Muscle strength characteristics of the hamstrings and quadriceps in players from a high-level youth football (soccer) Academy

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Research in Sports Medicine, 2018, 26 (3), pp. 276 - 288
Issue Date:
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The objective of this study was to investigate knee muscle strength characteristics in players from a high-level youth football Academy. In total, 110 players (aged 8–15 years) underwent muscle strength assessments carried out by a research physiotherapist using a computer-linked hand-held dynamometer. Results indicated that isometric hamstrings and quadriceps strength increased with age, whereas the isometric hamstring to quadriceps (H/Q) ratio decreased with age. A number of youth football players (n = 20; 18%; 95% CI: 11–27%) demonstrated isometric H/Q ratios of less than 0.60, as well as muscle strength asymmetries between limbs for the hamstrings (n = 40, 36%; 95% CI: 27–46%) and quadriceps (n = 51, 46%; 95% CI 37–56%), potentially increasing injury risk. This study provides new evidence that the isometric H/Q ratio reduces with advancing age during adolescence which may have important implications for junior athlete development and long-term injury prevention in football.
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