Influence of a 2-year strength training programme on power performance in elite youth soccer players

Eur J Sport Sci. 2013;13(5):445-51. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2012.742572. Epub 2012 Nov 13.


In soccer, strength, power and speed are very important because of the large number of power actions performed during the game. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the influence of periodised strength training for power performance more than 2 years. In this study, 134 elite youth soccer players were recruited from two youth training centres. The cohorts were arranged as follows: A (under 19 years), B (under 17 years) and C (under 15 years). The participants in each cohort were divided into two groups. One group (Strength training group [STG]) was subjected to regular soccer training in addition to strength training twice a week for 2 years. The other group (Control group [CG]) completed only the regular soccer training. The strength training was periodised with hypertrophy and intramuscular coordination blocks. For strength training, both the front squat and the back squat were performed once a week. The subjects were tested on the one-repetition maximum (1RM) of the front and back squat and a linear sprint over 30 m. There was significantly better performance from the STG on 1RM (p <0.001). In the sprint, the STG displayed significantly better improvements (p <0.05 to p <0.001) of up to 6%. The effects of strength training are reflected in the sprint performance. Therefore, it seems beneficial for youth to perform strength training to exploit the reserve capacity in sprint performances.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult