HSS Journal

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 186–195 | Cite as

A Musculoskeletal Profile of Elite Female Soccer Players

  • Theresa A. Chiaia
  • Robert A. Maschi
  • Robyn M. Stuhr
  • Jennifer R. Rogers
  • Monique A. Sheridan
  • Lisa R. Callahan
  • Jo A. Hannafin
Original Article


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


core alignment flexibility range of motion sports injury strength 



We’d like to thank the athletes and coaches and medical staff of the New York Power for their willingness to participate in this study. Jennifer Rogers and Monique Sheridan were Ludwig Research Fellows at HSS. The philanthropic support of Robert Ludwig, who has endowed the Ludwig Research Fellowship in Women’s Sports is acknowledged and greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Hospital for Special Surgery 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa A. Chiaia
    • 1
    • 6
  • Robert A. Maschi
    • 1
  • Robyn M. Stuhr
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jennifer R. Rogers
    • 2
  • Monique A. Sheridan
    • 2
  • Lisa R. Callahan
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jo A. Hannafin
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Sports Rehabilitation and Performance CenterHospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Women’s Sports Medicine CenterHospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.American Council on ExerciseSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.New York PowerNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Hospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA

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