n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Isokinetic hamstring and quadriceps muscle strength profiles of elite South African football players science - : sport science

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Football players are at risk of lower limb injuries, specifically hamstring muscle strains and ACL injuries due to muscle imbalances. This was a descriptive study assessing the isokinetic hamstring and quadriceps muscle strength and endurance in 28 elite, male, South African football players. Muscle strength was tested at 60°/s over 5 repetitions concentrically and eccentrically. Muscle endurance was tested at 180°/s over 15 repetitions. Peak torque to body weight ratio (PT/BW); reciprocal ratio (H/Q); dynamic control ratio (DCR), bilateral ratio and relative fatigue were calculated. Data were analyzed using a Levene's t-test. The concentric H/Q ratios (Dominant: 64.7 ± 9.3% and Non-dominant: 60.9 ± 11.1%) and eccentric ratios (Dominant: 69.0 ± 12.2% and Non-dominant: 67.0 ± 12.8%) at 60°/s were within normal range. The DCR showed slight eccentric hamstring weakness (Dominant: 0.85 ± 0.14 and Non-dominant: 0.83 ± 0.20). The PT/BW ratio showed stronger concentric hamstring strength and endurance on the dominant side compared to the Non-dominant side (Dominant: 60°/s: 204.6 ± 24.3% and 180°/s: 158.8 ± 21.1% vs. Non-dominant: 60°/s: 198.4 ± 49.6% and 180°/s: 146.4 ± 18.7%). The hamstring muscles (Dominant: 30.0 ± 8.8% and Non-dominant: 29.0 ± 13.0%) were less fatigue resistant compared to the quadriceps muscles (Dominant: 23 ± 6.4% and Non-dominant: 20.7 ± 7.8%). The study concluded that South African (SA) football players present with eccentric weakness and less fatigue resistance in the hamstring muscles, which together may predispose them to hamstring muscle strains.

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