Effects of Whole-Season Training and Match-Play on Hip Adductor and Abductor Muscle Strength in Soccer Players: A Pilot Study.
Abstract: Background: Previous investigations have associated weakness of hip muscles with a higher likelihood of developing hip groin injury. However, no previous investigation has examined the influence of soccer training and match-play during the season on maximal isometric hip adductor and abductor muscle strength. Hypothesis: Maximal hip adductor and abductor muscle strength would increase after the preseason, maintaining relatively constant levels across the soccer season. Design: Cross-sectional study. Level of Evidence: Level 3. Methods: A total of 26 semiprofessional male soccer players underwent measurements of maximal isometric hip adductor and abductor muscle strength at 3 time points of the soccer season: preseason, midseason, and end-season to investigate the longitudinal effect of soccer training and competition during a complete season on maximal isometric hip adductor and abductor muscle strength in the semiprofessional Spanish soccer player. Results: Compared with preseason, hip abductor muscle strength increased in the midseason (14.2% and 17.1%, for dominant and nondominant limb, respectively; P < 0.001) and in the end-season (13.1%; P = 0.005, and 14.1%; P < 0.005). In contrast, hip adductor muscle strength remained unchanged across the season in both limbs. As a result, the adductor/abductor strength ratio in the nondominant limb was reduced at midseason and end-season time points (−14.6% and −18.4%, respectively; P < 0.001) with a corresponding tendency in the dominant limb (−9.3% and −15.0%, respectively; P > 0.05). Conclusion: While maximal hip abductor muscle strength increased throughout the season, hip adductor muscle strength remained stable across the season. This produced a substantial deficit in hip adductor/abductor strength ratio at midseason and end-season. Clinical Relevance: The progressive imbalance in adductor/abductor strength across the soccer season may be an indicator of increased risk of groin injury and may reinforce the need for preventive rehabilitation activities focused on enhancing adductor muscle strength.
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