Int J Sports Med 2001; 22(1): 45-51
DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-11331
Training and Testing
Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Isokinetic Strength and Anaerobic Power of Elite, Subelite and Amateur French Soccer Players

G. Cometti1 , N. A. Maffiuletti1 , M. Pousson1 , J.-C. Chatard2 , N. Maffulli3
  • 1 Centre Expertise Performance, UFR STAPS, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
  • 2 Laboratoire de Physiologie, GIP Exercice, Faculté de Médecine de Saint-Etienne, France
  • 3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Aberdeen Medical School, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, Scotland
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 December 2001 (online)

Information about the influence of different practice levels on physical characteristics of a large number of soccer players is lacking. Therefore we assessed muscular strength and anaerobic power of elite, subelite and amateur soccer players to clarify what parameters distinguish the top players from the less successful. We tested 95 soccer players from the French first division (elite), second division (subelite), and amateurs and determined the isokinetic strength of the knee extensor and flexor muscles at angular velocities from - 120 ° · s-1 to 300 ° · s-1. Vertical jump, 10 m sprint, 30 m sprint and maximum ball speed during shooting were also measured. The elite players had higher knee flexor torque than the amateurs at all angular velocities (p < 0.05), except at 300 ° · s-1. The hamstring/quadriceps ratios proposed with two different methods were significantly lower in the amateur group than in the elite group (p < 0.05), except at 300 ° · s-1. Maximum ball speed during shooting and speed over 30 m sprint were not different between elite, subelite, and amateur players while speed over a 10 m sprint was significantly slower in amateur players and faster in the elite group (p < 0.05). Although performance in soccer is not determined only by measurable variables, professional players differ from amateurs in terms of knee flexor muscle strength and short-distance sprinting speed. Based on these findings we conclude that hamstring strength is extremely important in soccer players for joint stabilization during various tasks, notably in eccentric action. Further, short-sprinting performance may mirror actual game situations at high level and could be an important determinant of match-winning actions.


Nicola A. Maffiuletti

UFR STAPSUniversité de Bourgogne

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