PURPOSE: To analyse the influence of the position roles in the upper limb force parameters in Portuguese male handball players from national team 16–18 years old.
METHODS: 29 handball players from national Portuguese team participated in the study, divided in three groups: Goalkeepers (GK) (n=8), Second Line players (SL) including pivot, right and left wing players (n=12) and First Line players (FL) including center, right and left back players (n=9). Concentric strength measures for both arms were performed on a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer at 60 and 180°/s. Subjects were seated with the arm in 45° abduction in the scapular plane. Isometric maximum force and the maximum rate of force were measured in the bench press exercise. To examine between-group differences we used the ANOVA and post-hoc LSD test with a level of significance of p<0.05.
RESULTS: No significant differences were found between groups for height (GK - 189,7cm±5,3; SL - 186,1cm±8,1; FL - 190,8cm±5,9) and weight (GK - 84,4Kg±6,1; SL - 81,2Kg±8,7; FL - 85,4Kg±7,3). Considering the isokinetic evaluation, we did not find significant differences between groups in the dominant arm. The peak torque of internal rotation at 60°/s in the nondominant arm was significantly (p<033) higher in the SL group compared with FL and GK. Looking to the external to internal rotation ratio (ER:IR ratio), it was significantly (p<034) higher in nondominat arm at 180°/s in the FL players compared with SL and GK players. The RE:RI ratio was inside the recommended range of 66–75% in the dominant arm in both velocities for all the three groups and in the nondominant arm in both velocities for the GK and SL groups. The FL players presented in the nondominant arm, in both velocities, a RE:RI ratio higher than the recommended (77,8%±13,9 and 84,9%±21,0 at 60°/s and 180°/s). In the bench press the GK group presented significant (p<046) lower maximal force then the FL and SL.
CONCLUSIONS: As expected, the GK showed lower values of maximal force production in the bench press movement when compared with the other handball players. However, the isokinetic evaluation did not show any significant difference in the dominant arm between groups. The long shot players (FL) presented in the nondominant shoulder a RE:RI ratio that may indicate increased risk of anterior instability in the gleno-humeral joint.