BackgroundMuscle flexibility is a main component of health-related fitness and one of the basic components of fitness for the performance in some sports. Sport and health professionals require the flexibility profile of soccer to define quantitative aims in the training of flexibility. The aim of this study was to identify age-related differences in lower extremity flexibility in youth soccer players.MethodsSeventy-two young male soccer players (age: 13.0 ± 3.1 y; body mass: 50.5 ± 15.3 kg; stature 158.2 ± 16.8 cm; BMI: 19.6 ± 2.6 kg/m2) completed this study. Measures of eleven passive hip (hip extension (HE), hip adduction with hip flexed 90°(HAD-HF90°), hip flexion with knee flexed (HF-KF) and extended (HF-KE), hip abduction with hip neutral (HAB) and hip flexed 90°(HAB-HF90°), hip external (HER) and internal (HIR) rotation), knee (knee flexion (KF)) and ankle dorsiflexion (ankle dorsiflexion with knee flexed (ADF-KF) and extended (ADF-KE)) ranges of motion (ROM) were taken. Descriptive statistics were calculated for hip, knee and ankle ROM measured separately by leg (dominant and non-dominant) and age-group (U10, U12, U14, U16 and U19). The data was analysed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to examine the interaction of 11 ROM in the different players’ age-group.ResultsGenerally, U10 and/or U12 soccer players obtain the highest mean value in almost all ROM evaluated (U10: HAD-HF [39.6° ± 4.3°], ADF-KE [32.3° ± 4.1°], HER [63.5° ± 5.6°] and HAB-HF90°[64.1° ± 7.5°]; U12: HE [17.7° ± 6.2°], HAB [35.6° ± 3.0], HIR [60.8° ± 4.7°] and KF [133.8° ± 7.1°]). Nonetheless, significant differences between the players’ age-groups are just found in HAD-HF90°(p = .042; ES = .136), HAB (p = .001; ES = .252), HIR (p = .001; ES = .251), HER (p < .001; ES = .321) and HAB-HF90°(p < .001; ES = .376) ROM, showing a progressive and irregular decrease in these ROM until the U19 team.ConclusionThe findings of this study reinforce the necessity of prescribing exercises aimed at improving HAD-HF90° ROM in U16, HAB ROM in U14, HIR ROM in U16 and U19, HER ROM in U12 and U19, and HAB-HF90° ROM in U16 and U19 players within everyday soccer training routines.
Context: Previous research has analyzed how the sport influences sagittal spinal curvatures in young athletes and has found that spinal curves may be modified as a consequence of repeated movement patterns and postures of each discipline. Objective: To analyze sagittal spinal alignment by equestrian discipline and its relation to training load, and to describe “sagittal integrative morphotype” in young riders. Design: Observational descriptive study. Setting: Training room. Participants: A total of 23 riders (aged 9–17 y)—13 dressage riders (3 males and 10 females) and 10 show jumping riders (5 males and 5 females)—participated voluntarily. Main Outcome Measures: Mann–Whitney U test was applied to determine differences between riders’ characteristics (gender, discipline, and training load) and spine variables. Results: According to normality ranges for spinal curves, females showed an increase for lumbar curvature in standing position. It was found that show jumping riders manifested an increment in thoracic and lumbar curves while standing and an increase in the thoracic curvature in slump sitting. Statistically significant differences were found when lumbar curvature, “sit and reach” distance, and lumbo-horizontal angle in flexion were analyzed by gender in “sit and reach” test. No statistical significant differences were found when spinal curves in each position were analyzed depending on the training load. With regard to “sagittal integrative morphotype,” all riders presented a hyperkyphotic dorsal morphotype no matter what their discipline. As for the lumbar curve, dressage and show jumping riders presented a functional hyperkyphotic morphotype. Conclusions: It is important to note that many riders presented a sagittal imbalance for the thoracic and lumbar curves. Therefore, as the sagittal spinal misalignments persist and worsen over time, exercise programs to prevent or rehabilitate these imbalances in young riders will be needed. The “sagittal integrative morphotype” assessment is an essential tool in order to identify the spinal misalignment.
Background Physiological sagittal spinal curvatures play an important role in health and performance in sports. For that reason, several scientific studies have assessed spinal morphology in young athletes. However, to our knowledge, no study has assessed the implications of Inline Hockey (IH) practice on sagittal integrative spinal morphotype in adolescent players. Objectives The aims of the present study were to describe habitual sagittal spinal posture in young federated IH players and its relationship with training load and to determine the sagittal integrative spinal morphotype in these players. Methods An observational analysis was developed to describe the sagittal spinal morphotype in young federated IH players. A total of 74 IH players from the Technification Plan organized by the Skating Federation of the Valencian Community (aged from 8 to 15 years) participated in the study. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures of the spine were measured in a relaxed standing position (SP), in a slump sitting position (SSP) and in maximum flexion of the trunk (MFT) to determine the “Sagittal Integrative Morphotype” of all players. An unilevel inclinometer was used to quantify the sagittal spinal curvatures. The Hip Joint Angle test was used to quantify the Lumbo-Horizontal angle in flexion (L-H fx) of all participants with a goniometer. Results When thoracic curvature was analyzed according to normality references, it was found that 64.9% of IH players had thoracic hyperkyphosis in a SSP, while 60.8% and 74.3% of players were classified as normal in a SP and in MFT, respectively. As for the lumbar curve, 89.2% in a SP and 55.4% in MFT were normal, whereas 68.9% of IH players presented lumbar hyperkyphosis in a SSP. Regarding the “Sagittal Integrative Morphotype,” only 17.6% of players were classified as “Normal” in the three measured positions for the thoracic curve, while 37.8% had “Thoracic Hyperkyphosis” and 41.8% presented “Functional Thoracic Hyperkyphosis.” As for the “Sagittal Integrative Lumbar Morphotype,” only 23% of athletes had a normal curve in the three positions, whereas 66.2% presented “Functional Lumbar Hyperkyphosis.” When the L-H fx was evaluated, the results showed that only 16.2% of the athletes were classified as normal. Conclusions Federative IH practice seems to cause specific adaptations in spinal sagittal morphotype. Taking into account the “Sagittal Integrative Morphotype” only 17.6% IH players presented “Normal Morphotype” with a normal thoracic kyphosis in the three measured positions, while only 23% IH players presented “Normal Morphotype” with a normal lumbar curvature in the three assessed positions. Furthermore, only 16.2% of IH players showed normal pelvic tilt. Exercise programs to prevent or rehabilitate these imbalances in young IH players are needed.
The sagittal spinal morphology presents 4 physiological curvatures that increase endurance to axial compression forces and allow adequate postural balance. These curves must remain within normal ranges to achieve a static and dynamic balance, a correct functioning of the muscles and an adequate distribution of the loads, and thus minimize the injury risk. The purpose of this study was to categorize the sagittal spinal alignment according to the different morphotypes obtained for each curve in standing, slump sitting, and trunk forward bending positions in schoolchildren. It was a cross-sectional study. Sagittal spinal curvatures were assessed in 731 students from 16 elementary schools. In the sagittal standing position assessment, 70.45% and 89.06% of schoolchildren presented a “normal” morphotype for both dorsal and lumbar curves, respectively. After the application of the “Sagittal Integral Morphotype” protocol according to the morphotypes obtained in the three positions assessment (standing, slump sitting, and trunk forward bending), it was observed how the frequency of normal morphotypes for the dorsal and lumbar curve decreased considerably (only 32% and 6.6% of children obtained a “normal sagittal integral morphotype” for the thoracic and lumbar curvatures, respectively). These results show how it is necessary to include the slump sitting and trunk forward bending assessment as part of the protocol to define the “integral” sagittal alignment of the spine and establish a correct diagnosis. The use of the diagnostic classification presented in this study will allow early detection of misalignment not identified with the assessment of standing position.
BACKGROUND: Limited ranges of motion (ROM) has been considered as a primary risk factor for some football injuries, but only a few studies have analysed differences in lower extremity joints. The main purposes were (a) to describe the lower extremity ROM profile in professional football players; and (b) to examine differences between goalkeepers and outfield players. METHODS: 82 professional male football players from 4 teams were measured in the 2013 pre-season. Measures of passive hip (flexion with knee flexed [PHFKF] and extended [PHFKE], extension [PHE], abduction [PHA], external [PHER] and internal [PHIR] rotation), knee (flexion [PKF]) and ankle (dorsiflexion with knee flexed [ADFKF] and extended [ADFKE]) ROMs were taken. Magnitude-based inferences exploring differences between player position and limb were made.RESULTS: 46% of all participants showed restricted PHFKE and/or around 30% showed restricted ADFKF ROM values. Contrarily, most players reported normal PHFKF, PHE, PHIR and PHER as well as PKF ROM scores with percentage values close to 100%. Bilateral meaningful differences for PHA, PHIR and PHER were found in approximately 30% of outfield players and goalkeepers. Statistical analysis found trivial differences between players for PHFKE, PHE, PHIR, PHER, ADFKE and ADFKF. However, moderate differences between players were found for PHFKF, PHA and PKF, with goalkeepers demonstrating higher values than outfield players. CONCLUSIONS:The findings of this study reinforce the necessity of prescribing exercises aimed at improving PHFKE and ADFKF ROM within everyday football training routines. In addition, as some bilateral deficits were observed, unilateral training should be considered where appropriate.
Effects of age and maturation on lower extremity range of motion in male youth soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 36(5): 1417-1425, 2022-Restricted joint range of motion (ROM) has been considered as a primary risk factor for some sport-related injuries. Consequently, preparticipation assessment of lower extremity joints ROM could help identify youth soccer players at high risk of injury and to aid in the design of tailored age and maturational specific training interventions. The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare the influence of chronological age and maturational stage on several lower extremity ROM measures, as well as to describe the lower extremity ROM profile using a comprehensive approach in youth soccer players. A total of 286 male youth soccer players' ROM were assessed including passive hip (extension [PHE], adduction with hip flexed 90˚[PHAD HF90˚] , flexion with knee flexed [PHF KF ] and extended [PHF KE ], abduction with hip neutral [PHABD] and flexed 90˚[PHABD HF90˚] , external [PHER] and internal [PHIR] rotation), knee (flexion [PKF]) and ankle (dorsiflexion with knee flexed [ADF KF ] and extended [ADF KE ]) ROMs. Between-group differences were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and magnitude-based decisions. The results only report statistically significant (p , 0.05; d . 0.5) and clinically relevant differences (.8˚) for the PKF ROM between U12 vs. U19, and Pre-PHV vs. Post-PHV groups. Furthermore, approximately 40, 35, and 20% of players displayed restrictions in their PHF KE , PKF, and ADF KF ROM values, respectively. These findings emphasize the necessity of prescribing (across all age groups and periods of growth and maturation) compensatory measures in daily soccer training, and these exercises should be equally applied to both limbs with the aim of improving PHF KE , PKF and ADF KF ROM values.
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