Assessment of Lower Body and Abdominal Strength in Professional Soccer Players

Michaelides, Marcos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9226-4657, Parpa, Koulla orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1139-7731 and Zacharia, Anthos I. (2019) Assessment of Lower Body and Abdominal Strength in Professional Soccer Players. Journal of Human Kinetics, 70 (1). pp. 15-23. ISSN 1640-5544

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Abstract The purpose of this study was to evaluate abdominal strength in professional soccer players and compare the findings to their lower body strength. An observational design was used to examine abdominal and lower body strength using two functional performance tests (a lower body isokinetic test and an isometric abdominal test, respectively). One hundred and thirty-two professional male soccer players from Cyprus’s first and second divisions participated in this study. Testing included three and twenty-five maximal concentric flexion and extension repetitions at angle speeds of 60°/s (degrees/second) and 300°/s, respectively. On a separate occasion, participants completed two trials on an isometric device (ABTEST Gen. 3 system) for evaluation of abdominal strength. At both isokinetic speeds of 300°/s and 60°/s, abdominal strength had low to moderate significant correlations (p < .05) with quadriceps and hamstring strength. Coefficients of determination (R2) demonstrated that the variability in isokinetic variables accounted for only 14-16% of the variability of abdominal strength. Abdominal strength appears to be high in professional soccer players, but is not dependent on the sports level and/or a playing position. The results of this study demonstrate that abdominal strength and knee joint strength need to be evaluated separately.

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