Preprint / Version 1

The effects of soccer simulation on isolated lumbar extension force and trunk flexor force


  • Craig Perrin Birmingham City University
  • Dave Smith Manchester Metropolitan University
  • James Steele Solent University



Soccer, Football, Trunk, Core, Lumbar, Fatigue, Strength


Force production from the trunk flexors and lumbar extensors might be important for maintaining optimal kinematics during physical tasks such as running. This study measured isolated lumbar extension strength and trunk flexor endurance before and after simulating soccer. Reductions in force output between flexors and extensors were compared, alongside non-local muscle fatigue (hand grip). Lumbar extension strength was also compared to untrained, recreationally trained, and powerlifters as these muscles do not appear to strengthen from resistance training. The results showed soccer players’ lumbar extension strength differs to untrained populations (p=0.02) but not to recreationally trained populations (p=0.266), displaying similar strength to powerlifters. Lumbar extension strength changed by −2767 ± 1860 N·m·deg (p=0.01) after soccer simulation but no change was found for trunk flexion endurance (−3s [IQR: −8–7 s]; p=0.419). After converting to percentage change, the reduction in lumbar extension strength was significantly greater than the reduction in hand grip (p=0.026). The findings showed lumbar extensor fatigue is greater than in the trunk flexors. This is particularly important as the lumbar extensors cannot be strengthened optimally without pelvic restraints. Research should establish the consequences of lumbar extensor fatigue after soccer on performance measures and injury risk factors.


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