INTRODUCTION: Strength asymmetry among the muscles of the lower limbs and muscle fatigue may predispose soccer players to injuries. Regarding the individual differences determined by diverse roles performed by players, it is possible that the presence of asymmetries of muscle strength and fatigue is related to playing position. OBJECTIVES: 1) To investigate differences in asymmetry of peak torque (PT), work asymmetry (W) and fatigue index (FI) of knee extensors and flexors of professional soccer players according to their positioning in field; 2) To determine if FI of knee flexors is higher than those of knee extensors. METHODS: Data from isokinetic assessment of 164 professional soccer players (forwards, fullbacks, wingers, midfielders and goalkeepers) were analyzed. The protocol of evaluation of concentric strength of knee extensors and flexors consisted of five repetitions at 60°/s and 30 repetitions at 300°/s. Kruskall-Wallis test was carried out to verify differences in PT asymmetry, W asymmetry and FI of knee extensors and flexors among players of different positions. The Wilcoxon test was performed to verify if there is difference between FI of knee extensors and flexors. RESULTS: There was no difference among playing positions for asymmetries of PT and W, as well as for FI of knee extensors and flexors (p > 0.05). The FI of knee flexors was higher than FI of knee extensors in both lower limbs (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Isokinetic variables, commonly associated with injuries, were not different among players of different positions. The athletes had flexor FI higher than extensor FI, which can be related to greater frequency of strain injury of hamstrings in comparison to quadriceps.
athletes; muscle strength dynamometer; lower extremity