, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 186-195
Date: 17 Mar 2009

A Musculoskeletal Profile of Elite Female Soccer Players


The purpose of this study is to identify lower-extremity (LE) musculoskeletal characteristics of elite female soccer players and to determine whether differences between dominant and nondominant extremities exist with respect to strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical data were collected from 26 female professional soccer players. Core control, hip and knee passive range of motion (PROM), LE flexibility, hip abductor strength, and dynamic functional alignment were assessed for each LE. Of 26 subjects, 21 scored 2/5 or less on core control. Mean hip internal rotation and external rotation were 33° (±8°) and 25° (±6.7°), respectively. All subjects had shortened two-joint hip flexors with an average knee flexion angle of 50° (±11°) and increased femoral anteversion. Forty one of 48 dominant limbs and 42 of 48 nondominant limbs demonstrated deviations from neutral alignment during step down or single-leg squat. Of 25 subjects, 15 demonstrated a stiff-knee landing and/or takeoff. All subjects demonstrated limitations in hip external rotation PROM and hip flexor length. There was no difference between dominant and nondominant LEs in all variables including hip abductor strength. Additional research is needed to determine if there is a correlation between the musculoskeletal characteristics, LE biomechanics, and potential risk for injury.

Level of evidence: IV

Study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc.) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.