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Strength and power characteristics in English elite rugby league players

Comfort, P, Graham-Smith, P, Matthews, M and Bamber, C 2011, 'Strength and power characteristics in English elite rugby league players' , Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25 (5) , pp. 1374-1384.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this article is to present data on the strength and power characteristics of forwards and backs in a squad of elite English rugby league players and compare these findings to previously published literature from Australia. Participants were elite English rugby league players (n = 18; height 184.16 6 5.76 cm; body mass 96.87 6 10.92 kg, age 21.67 6 4.10 years) who were all regular first team players for an English Superleague club. Testing included 5-, 10-, 20-m sprint times, agility, vertical jump, 40-kg squat jump, isometric squat, concentric and eccentric isokinetic knee flexion and extension. Independent t-tests were performed to compare results between forwards and backs, with paired samples t-tests used to compare bilateral differences from isokinetic assessments and agility tests. Forwards demonstrated significantly (p , 0.05) greater body mass (102.15 6 7.5 kg), height (186.30 6 5.47 cm), power during the 40-kg jump squat(2,106 6 421 W), isometric force (3,122 6 611 N) and peak torque during left concentric isokinetic knee extension (296.1 6 54.2 N�m) compared to the backs (86.30 6 8.97 kg; 179.87 6 3.72 cm; 1,709 6 286W; 2,927 6 607 N; 241.7 6 35.2 N�m, respectively). However, no significant differences (p . 0.05) were noted between forwards and backs during right concentric isokinetic knee extension (274.8637.7 and 246.8625.8 N�m), concentric isokinetic knee flexion for both left (158.8 6 28.6 and 141.0 6 22. 7 N�m) and right legs (155.3 6 22.9 and 128.0 6 23.9 N�m), eccentric isokinetic knee flexion and extension, hamstring quadriceps ratios, or vertical jump (37.25 6 4.35 and 40.33 6 6.38 cm). In comparison, relative measures demonstrated that backs performed significantly better compared to the forwards during the 40-kg jump squat (20.71 6 5.15 and 19.91 6 3.91 W�kg21) and the isometric squat (34.32 6 7.9 and 30.65 6 5.34 N�kg21). Bilateral comparisons revealed no significant differences (p . 0.05) between left and right leg performances in the agility test (3.26 6 0.18 and 3.24 6 0.18 seconds), or between left (0.7 6 0.10) and right (0.71 6 0.17) leg eccentric hamstring concentric quadriceps ratios. The results demonstrate that absolute strength and power measures are generally higher in forwards compared to in backs; however, when body mass is taken into account and relative measures compared, the backs outperform the forwards.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: performance, isokinetic, isometric, dynamic
    Themes: Health and Wellbeing
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
    Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
    Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    Publisher: Human Kinetics
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 1064-8011
    Depositing User: RH Shuttleworth
    Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2011 10:36
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:53
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/15865

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