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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 July-August;57(7-8):923-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06458-6


language: English

Peak torque and muscle balance in the knees of young U-15 and U-17 soccer athletes playing various tactical positions

Cleiton, CHIAMONTI BONA 1, Hugo TOURINHO FILHO 2, Mikel IZQUIERDO 3, Ricardo M., PIRES FERRAZ 4, 5, Mário C. MARQUES 4, 5

1 Laboratory of Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, University of Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, Brazil; 2 School of Physical Education and Sports, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; 3 Department of Health Sciences, Public University of Navarra, Tudela, Spain; 4 Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal; 5 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal


BACKGROUND: Soccer is a sport that is practiced worldwide and has been investigated in its various aspects, particularly muscle strength, which is an essential motor skill for sports performance. The objective of this study was to investigate the peak torque and muscle balance on the knee extensor and flexor of young soccer players in the tactical positions of goalkeeper, defender, full back, midfielder, defensive midfielder and striker, as well as to determine which field position has the highest peak torque.
METHODS: Forty-nine male players were recruited and divided into two categories during the preparatory period of the season: the Under-15 (U-15) group (N.=23, mean age 14.7±0.5 years, body mass 58.2±10.5 kg, body height 168.5±7.6 cm), and the Under-17 (U-17) group (N.=26, mean age 16.8±0.4 years, body mass 69.2±7.9 kg, body height 176.2±6.6 cm).
RESULTS: The U-17 athletes presented a higher peak torque in all the movements of flexion and extension in the two angular velocities (i.e. 60°/s and 300°/s), but only the dominant knee extensor at 300°/s was significantly different between the two categories as well as the percentage change in peak torque compared between U-15 and U-17 was always above 20%. The peak torque variation in the U-17 category (i.e. mostly above 20%) highlights a higher peak torque compared to U-15 athletes.
CONCLUSIONS: The muscular deficit of the two categories presented a low average of 10-15%, indicating a good muscle balance between knee extensors and flexors. Finally, goalkeepers and defenders achieved the highest peak torque amongst the field positions.

KEY WORDS: Torque - Muscle strength - Postural balance

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