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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 April;58(4):414-20

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06724-4

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Dynamic balance ability in young elite soccer players: implication of isometric strength

Moktar CHTARA 1, Mehdi ROUISSI 1 , Nicola L. BRAGAZZI 2, Adam L. OWEN 3, 4, Monoem HADDAD 5, Karim CHAMARI 6

1 Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sport Performance Optimization”, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports, Tunis, Tunisia; 2 School of Public Health, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 3 Servette Football Club, Geneva, Switzerland; 4 Claude Bernard University Lyon, Centre de Recherche et d’Innovation sur le Sport (CRIS), Villeurbanne, France; 5 Sport Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, University, Doha, Qatar; 6 Athlete Health and Performance Research Center, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar


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BACKGROUND: Soccer requires maintaining unilateral balance when executing movement with the contralateral leg. Despite the fact that balance requires standing with maintaining isometric posture with the support leg, currently there is a lack of studies regarding the implication of isometric strength on dynamic balance’s performance among young soccer players. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the Y-Balance Test and 12 lower limbs isometric strength tests.
METHODS: Twenty-six right footed soccer players (mean±SD, age=16.2±1.6 years, height=175±4.2 cm, body mass=68.8±6.1 kg) performed a dynamic balance test (star excursion balance-test with dominant- (DL) and nondominant-legs (NDL). Furthermore, maximal isometric contraction tests of 12 lower limb muscle groups were assessed in DL and NDL.
RESULTS: Correlations analysis reported a significant positive relationship between some of isometric strength tests (with DL and NDL) and the Y-Balance Test. Furthermore, stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that maximal isometric strength explained between 21.9% and 49.4% of the variance of the Y-Balance Test. Moreover, maximal isometric strength was dependent upon the reaching angle of the Y-Balance Test and the leg used to support body weight.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a significant implication of maximal isometric strength of the lower limb and the Y-Balance Test. Moreover, the present investigation suggests the implementation of specific lower limb strengthening exercises depending on players’ deficit in each reaching direction and leg. This result suggests that further studies should experiment if increasing lower limbs isometric strength could improve dynamic balance ability among young soccer players.


KEY WORDS: Football - Isometric contraction - Postural balance

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