The effect of maturity status on physical performance following traditional dynamic and eccentric resistance training in adolescent male soccer players

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Bhargava, Anushka (2019) The effect of maturity status on physical performance following traditional dynamic and eccentric resistance training in adolescent male soccer players. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Background: Developing strength and motor control is crucial for long-term athletic development and reducing injury risk in maturing youth athletes. Moderate load eccentric duration-accentuated resistance training (ECC) may show additional benefits to physical qualities and overall athleticism, relative to traditional dynamic resistance training (TRAD). There is currently a lack of research utilising eccentric training in youth athletes, particularly when considering maturity status. Methods: Using a mixed longitudinal and parallel groups design, the effect of TRAD versus ECC on physical performance was investigated in adolescent male athletes, accounting for maturity status. In block 1, twenty-nine (11-15 y) male soccer players completed eight weeks of TRAD (repetition eccentric:concentric tempo, 2:1). Subsequently, participants were grouped according to maturity status (age to/from peak height velocity) and back squat strength, for block 2. Twenty-four participants then further undertook TRAD or ECC (tempo range, 3:1-6:1) for 12 weeks (Block 2). Physical performance was tested repeatedly (wk 0-21) and assessed lower body strength, power, speed, change of direction, flexibility, movement competency, mood status and muscle soreness. Results: In Block 1, TRAD led to substantial improvements in 3RM back squat strength (mean effect-size (ES) change; ±90%CL: ES 1.5; ±0.5), 505 change of direction test (ES 0.7; ±0.3), right (ES 1.0; ±0.9) and left (ES 0.8; ±0.3) straight leg raise and back squat movement competency (ES -0.6; ±0.2). In Block 2, both training groups showed large improvements in 3RM back squat strength at pre- (mean percent (%) change; TRAD = 45; ±18%; ECC = 38; ±12%), circa- (TRAD = 39; ±10%; ECC = 31; ±9%) and post-PHV (TRAD = 34; ±14%; ECC = 28; ±13%). Similarly, both groups showed moderate improvements in IMTP (isometric mid- thigh pull) at pre- (TRAD = 24; ±25%; ECC =17; ±16%), circa- (TRAD = 21; ±14%; ECC =16; ±11%) and post-PHV (TRAD = 18; ±20%; ECC =15; ±20%). Only pre-PHV TRAD showed small improvements in squat jump peak ground reaction force (SJ GRF; 8.5; ±8.5%). There was a decrement in 20-m sprint performance with either training modality pre-PHV (TRAD = 4.6; ±2%; ECC = 3; ±1.3%) and circa-PHV (TRAD = 2.2; ±1.2%; ECC = 2.1; ±1%). Pre-PHV, ECC showed less impairment in 5-m (-16; ±4.7%), 10-m (-7.7; ±3.8%), and 15-m (-4.7; ±3.8%) sprint performance, relative to TRAD. Circa-PHV, ECC was less detrimental to only 5-m sprint, (ECC–TRAD = -6.9; ±3.1%), compared to TRAD. When comparing training modalities, TRAD showed greater improvements for improving straight leg raise pre-PHV (ECC-TRAD = right, - 6.3; ±6.6%; left, -6.6; ±7.6%) while ECC showed post-PHV (left = 6.4; ±7.6%). Conclusions: The initial adaptations associated with eight weeks of TRAD showed substantial improvements in lower body strength, 505 change of direction test, unilateral flexibility and movement competency. Subsequently, 12 weeks of TRAD further benefitted 3RM back squat strength, IMTP, SJ GRF and unilateral flexibility, while ECC led to substantial improvements in 3RM back squat strength and IMTP. Comparing the two training modalities, TRAD was more beneficial than ECC for strength and unilateral flexibility pre-PHV. On the other hand, ECC was less detrimental than TRAD for some sprint splits and beneficial for lower-limb flexibility post- PHV. Hence, moderate-load eccentrics may be a useful lower-load resistance training variation to traditional dynamic training around peak growth in youth soccer players. Practitioners should consider using ECC or TRAD training modalities with youth athletes based on individual athlete PHV and specific training/season goals.

Additional Information

Masters of Applied Science

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords maturity; resistance training; soccer; soccer players; males; adolescents; youth; performance; body strength; flexibility
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