Evaluation of symmetry and weight-bearing in lower limbs of youth soccer players

INTRODUCTION: The instrumented jump tests evaluation inform us about the functional capabilities and neuromuscular variables assisting in the care of athletes. It is essential to give a greater attention to the basic categories because it contains important stages of development of the athletes who are the future of the sport. Objective: To evaluate the functional and neuromuscular youth soccer athletes' category based on performance in jump tests. METHODS: Soccer players aged between 15 and 17 years were evaluated. The following jump tests were performed on two force platforms: squat Jump; countermovement test; drop jump of 40 cm. To analyze the variables concentric and eccentric forces, impact and height of jumps, the Shapiro-Wilk test, mean and standard deviation of variables with p < 0.05 were used. RESULTS: Of the 30 athletes evaluated, we found: three goalkeepers (10%), five quarterbacks (16.7%), one winger (3.3%), three defensive midfielders (10%), 12 midfielders (40%) and six strikers (20%). The under 17 category had higher results compared to the under 15;it was achieved maximum height of the countermovement jump over the squat jump (p < 0.05) and drop jump (p > 0.05); no difference was found in concentric force between the categories and types of jumps; greater impact force was obtained on countermovement jump and an increased strength in the right lower limb was found in all jump tests and variables. CONCLUSIONS: We found an asymmetry between the lower limbs, which may correlate with a muscle power deficit, poor eccentric movement and biomechanical errors. These predisposing factors for musculoskeletal injuries can be prevented. The instrumented evaluation of muscle force through these tests can assist club professionals as a working tool, able to enhance training programs, preparation and rehabilitation. However, more research is needed in order to evaluate different moments of the athlete's age and season.

sports; prevention & control; injuries

Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina do Exercício e do Esporte Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 278, 6º and., 01318-901 São Paulo SP, Tel.: +55 11 3106-7544, Fax: +55 11 3106-8611 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: atharbme@uol.com.br