Int J Sports Med 2020; 41(11): 766-770
DOI: 10.1055/a-1177-0716
Orthopedics & Biomechanics

Body Composition of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Female Soccer Athletes through Competitive Seasons

Erica Roelofs
1   Kinesiology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, United States
April Bockin
1   Kinesiology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, United States
Tyler Bosch
2   CEHD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States
Jonathan Oliver
3   Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, United States
Christopher W. Bach
4   Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, United States
Aaron Carbuhn
5   Kansas Athletics, University of Kansas, Lawrence, United States
Philip R. Stanforth
6   Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, United States
Donald R. Dengel
1   Kinesiology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, United States
› Author Affiliations


The purpose of this study was to examine body composition of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I female soccer players by position and season. One hundred seventy-five female athletes were categorized by positions of forward (n=47), midfielder (n=51), defender (n=57), and goalkeeper (n=20). A dual X-ray absorptiometry scan assessed percent body fat, total lean mass, total fat mass, arm and leg lean mass and fat mass, and visceral adipose tissue. Goalkeepers had significantly higher total, arm, and leg lean mass and fat mass compared to all other positions (p<0.05). For seasonal changes, body fat percentage was significantly higher in winter off-season (26.7%) compared to summer off-season (25.7%) and pre-season (25.8%; p<0.01) for all positions. Total and leg lean mass was significantly lower in winter off-season compared to all other seasons, and total lean mass was significantly higher in summer off-season than pre-season (p<0.01). Overall, goalkeepers were significantly different than all other positions. Body fat percentage increased and lean mass decreased in winter off-season indicating potential undesired changes in training and/or nutrition over the break whereas lean mass was the highest in summer off-season potentially reflecting the emphasis on resistance training and increased volume of training.

Publication History

Received: 24 January 2020

Accepted: 24 April 2020

Article published online:
10 July 2020

© 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York

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