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Quality of functional movement patterns and injury examination in elite-level male professional football players

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      Injury incidence and injury patterns in professional football: the UEFA injury study.

      To study the injury characteristics in professional football and to follow the variation of injury incidence during a match, during a season and over consecutive seasons. Prospective cohort study where teams were followed for seven consecutive seasons. Team medical staff recorded individual player exposure and time-loss injuries from 2001 to 2008. European professional men's football. The first team squads of 23 teams selected by the Union of European Football Associations as belonging to the 50 best European teams. Injury incidence. 4483 injuries occurred during 566 000 h of exposure, giving an injury incidence of 8.0 injuries/1000 h. The injury incidence during matches was higher than in training (27.5 vs 4.1, p<0.0001). A player sustained on average 2.0 injuries per season, and a team with typically 25 players can thus expect about 50 injuries each season. The single most common injury subtype was thigh strain, representing 17% of all injuries. Re-injuries constituted 12% of all injuries, and they caused longer absences than non re-injuries (24 vs 18 days, p<0.0001). The incidence of match injuries showed an increasing injury tendency over time in both the first and second halves (p<0.0001). Traumatic injuries and hamstring strains were more frequent during the competitive season, while overuse injuries were common during the preseason. Training and match injury incidences were stable over the period with no significant differences between seasons. The training and match injury incidences were stable over seven seasons. The risk of injury increased with time in each half of matches.
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        Performance characteristics according to playing position in elite soccer.

        The paper provides a large-scale study into the motion characteristics of top class soccer players, during match play, according to playing position. Three hundred top-class outfield soccer players were monitored during 20 Spanish Premier League and 10 Champions League games using a computerized match analysis system (Amisco Pro, Nice, France). Total distance covered in five selected categories of intensity, and the mean percentage of playing time spent in each activity were analyzed according to playing position. Midfield players covered a significantly greater total distance (p < 0.0001) than the groups of defenders and forwards did. Analyzing the different work rates showed significant differences (p < 0.5 - 0.0001) between the different playing positions. There were no significant differences between halves in the total distance covered, or in distances covered at submaximal and maximal intensities. However, significantly more distance was covered in the first half compared to the second in medium intensities (11.1 - 19 km/h). The current findings provide a detailed description of the demands placed on elite soccer players, according to their positional role at different work intensities, which may be helpful in the development of individualized training programs.
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          Hamstring injury occurrence in elite soccer players after preseason strength training with eccentric overload.

          The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a preseason strength training programme for the hamstring muscle group - emphasising eccentric overloading - could affect the occurrence and severity of hamstring injuries during the subsequent competition season in elite male soccer players. Thirty players from two of the best premier-league division teams in Sweden were divided into two groups; one group received additional specific hamstring training, whereas the other did not. The extra training was performed 1-2 times a week for 10 weeks by using a special device aiming at specific eccentric overloading of the hamstrings. Isokinetic hamstring strength and maximal running speed were measured in both groups before and after the training period and all hamstring injuries were registered during the total observational period of 10 months. The results showed that the occurrence of hamstring strain injuries was clearly lower in the training group (3/15) than in the control group (10/15). In addition, there were significant increases in strength and speed in the training group. However, there were no obvious coupling between performance parameters and injury occurrence. These results indicate that addition of specific preseason strength training for the hamstrings - including eccentric overloading - would be beneficial for elite soccer players, both from an injury prevention and from performance enhancement point of view.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Acta Physiologica Hungarica
            Acta Physiologica Hungarica
            Akademiai Kiado Zrt.
            0231-424X
            1588-2683
            March 2015
            March 2015
            : 102
            : 1
            : 34-42
            10.1556/APhysiol.101.2014.010
            © 2015

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