Leg stiffness in female soccer players: inter-session reliability and the fatiguing effects of soccer-specific exercise

De Ste Croix, Mark B (2016) Leg stiffness in female soccer players: inter-session reliability and the fatiguing effects of soccer-specific exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. ISSN 1064-8011 (In Press)

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Low levels of leg stiffness and reduced leg stiffness when fatigue is present compromise physical performance and increase injury risk. The purpose of this study was to (a) determine the reliability of leg stiffness measures obtained from contact mat data and (b) explore age-related differences in leg stiffness following exposure to a soccer-specific fatigue protocol in young female soccer players. 37 uninjured female youth soccer players divided into 3 sub-groups based on chronological age (U13, U15 and U17 year olds) volunteered to participate in the study. Following baseline data collection during which relative leg stiffness, contact time, flight time was collected, participants completed an age-appropriate soccer-specific fatigue protocol (SAFT90). Upon completion of the fatigue protocol, subjects were immediately re-tested. Inter-session reliability was acceptable and could be considered capable of detecting worthwhile changes in performance. Results showed that leg stiffness decreased in the U13 year olds, was maintained in the U15 age group and increased in the U17 players. Contact times and flight times did not change in the U13 and U15 year olds, but significantly decreased and increased respectively in the U17 age group. The data suggests that age-related changes in the neuromuscular control of leg stiffness are present in youth female soccer players. Practitioners should be aware of these discrepancies in neuromuscular responses to soccer-specific fatigue, and should tailor training programs to meet the needs of individuals which may subsequently enhance performance and reduce injury risk.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: youth, maturation, neuromuscular, SAFT90
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV861 Ball games: Baseball, football, golf, etc.
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Sport & Exercise > Sport and Exercise
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 11:41
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2017 06:28
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/4125

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