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Joint Bone Spine. 2012 Jul;79(4):403-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Muscle strength and soccer practice as major determinants of bone mineral density in adolescents.

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Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Porto, Portugal.



To analyse the relationship between isokinetic strength of the lower limb muscles and bone mineral density and content (BMD, BMC) of adolescent male soccer players and age-matched controls not involved in sport (12-15 years).


A random sample of 151 young males was divided into soccer players (SG; n=117) and control subjects (CG; n=34). Peak torque of knee extensors (PTE) and flexors (PTF) was measured during isokinetic knee joint movement (90°/s) of the dominant and non-dominant lower limbs. BMD and BMC of the whole-body, lumbar spine, dominant/non-dominant lower limb were determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Physical activity was monitored with accelerometers during 5 days. Estimated maturity offset was used as an indicator of biological maturity status.


Whole-body BMD (1.03±0.01 vs. 0.98±0.01 g/cm2, P=0.003) and dominant (1.09±0.01 vs. 1.02±0.01 g/cm2, P<0.001) and non-dominant (1.09±0.01 vs. 1.01±0.01 g/cm2, P<0.001) lower limb BMD was greater in SG compared to CG. No significant differences were found for BMC. Compared to CG, SG performed better in the YY-IE2 test (780±40 vs. 625±31 m), exhibited higher PTE (dominant limb: 155.2±30.3 vs. 123.4±37.0N m; non-dominant limb: 156.2±36.1 vs. 120.4±41.1 N m) and PTF muscles (dominant limb: 79.0±25.3 vs. 57.1±25.3 Nm; non-dominant limb: 73.3±20.7 vs. 57.0±24.2N m). Moreover, the PTE, soccer participation and maturity status were positively associated with the BMD at all body sites (r2=0.57-0.73, P<0.05).


Muscle strength of knee extensors is associated with BMD and BMC at all body sites. Muscle-skeletal structures respond positively to the weight-bearing and impact-loading imposed by soccer practice. Soccer seemed to be a multilateral balanced sport activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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