Musculoskeletal health profile for elite female footballers versus untrained young women before and after 16 weeks of football training

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Muskuloskeletales Gesundheitsprofil von weiblichen Profifußballspielerinnen im Vergleich zu untrainierten jungen Frauen vor und nach einem 16-wöchigen Fußballtraining
Author:Jackman, Sarah R.; Scott, Suzanne; Randers, Morten B.; Ørntoft, Christina; Blackwell, Jamie; Zar, Abdossaleh; Helge, E.W.; Mohr, Magni; Krustrup, Peter
Published in:Journal of sports sciences
Published:31 (2013), 13, S. 1468-1474, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Print resource
ISSN:0264-0414, 1466-447X
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Identification number:PU201312008277


We investigated the musculoskeletal health profile of elite female football players (ET) in comparison to untrained (UT) young women subjected to 16 weeks of football training (2 × 1 h per week). DXA scans, blood sampling, sprint testing and Flamingo postural balance testing were carried out for 27 Danish national team players and 28 untrained women, with eight women being tested after training. At baseline total BMD and BMC were 13% (1.305 ± 0.050 versus 1.159 ± 0.056 g · cm−2) and 23% (3047 ± 235 versus 2477 ± 526 g) higher (P <0.001) and leg BMD and BMC were 24 and 28% higher (P <0.01) in ET than in UT. Resting plasma osteocalcin was 45% higher in ET than in UT (28.8 ± 10.9 versus 19.9 ± 9.9 µg · L−1, P <0.05). Total lean body mass was 14% higher (50.4 ± 3.3 versus 44.3 ± 4.0 kg) in ET compared with UT, with no difference in total body mass. The number of Flamingo test falls was 56–63% less (P <0.01) and 30 m sprinting speed was 31% faster (P <0.001) in ET than UT. After 16 weeks of football training for UT, lean body mass increased by 1.4 ± 0.5 kg and the number of left leg falls decreased by 29% (P <0.05). No significant changes occurred in BMD or BMC, but plasma osteocalcin increased (P <0.05) by 37%. In summary, elite women footballers have an impressive musculoskeletal health profile compared with untrained controls, but short-term football training seems to reduce the risk of falls and increase bone formation. Verf.-Referat