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Aerobic Capacities and Anthropometric Characteristics of Elite Female Soccer Players

Ingebrigtsen, Jørgen; Dillern, Thomas; Shalfawi, Shaher AI

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 12 - p 3352-3357
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318215f763
Original Research

Ingebrigtsen, J, Dillern, T, and Shalfawi, SAI. Aerobic capacities and anthropometric characteristics of elite female soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 25(12): 3352–3357, 2011—This study investigated aerobic capacities and anthropometric characteristics within a group of 29 elite female soccer players. The purpose was to identify and establish aerobic capacities and anthropometric characteristics for these players and to look for possible positional differences between keepers, defenders, midfielders, and attackers. We did this by measuring standard anthropometrical variables and maximal oxygen (V̇o2max) and anaerobic threshold (AT). One-way analysis of variance revealed no significant differences among anthropometric or physiological variables. However, a trend (p = 0.062) toward positional differences was found within running speed at AT. A subsequent Tukey post hoc test showed differences (p = 0.04) between keepers and defenders, with the latter running faster (∼1.7 km·h−1) at AT. The present results suggest that few anthropometric and physiological differences exist between playing positions in elite female soccer players. Furthermore, the current results indicate that present elite players' physiological characteristics are similar to those previously shown, despite the rapid changes of the female soccer game. Based on well-established knowledge that different playing positions within a soccer team ought to have distinct capacities, we recommend regular testing programs to be able to construct and implement tailored training programs for players' physical capacities with respect to the demands of their playing positions.

Center for Practical Knowledge, Department of Sports, University of Nordland, Bodø, Norway

Address correspondence to Jørgen Ingebrigtsen,

Copyright © 2011 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.