Rapid spike in hip adduction strength in early adolescent footballers: a study of 125 elite male players from youth to senior

Review written by Dr Stacey Hardin info

Key Points

  1. Hip adduction and hip abduction strength increases as squad age increases.
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In general, injury incidence in football increases with age. Hip and groin injuries, however, have been shown to peak in male players around 14 years old (1). Some hypothesize this is due to a rapid physical growth period that typically occurs during this time (2). This peak growth period can result in increased body mass and limb length with concurrent changes in joint stiffness, strength and flexibility. These changes may increase the risk of injury as tissues go through a period of adaptation to become more resilient and capable of tolerating new loads that are placed on them.

The objective of this study was to explore incremental differences in hip adductor and abductor strength in elite youth football players.

Hip and groin injuries have been shown to peak in male players around 14 years old.
Clinicians should consider the potential unintended negative impact of progressive maximal strength training for hip adduction and abduction in U13 to U15 athletes.


  • 125 players from a Danish male professional soccer club from age groups U13 through to senior team were included in this cross-sectional study.
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