Strength and endurance of elite soccer players

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Mar;30(3):462-7. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199803000-00019.


Purpose: The major purpose of the present study was to examine whether there exists a relationship between preseasonal physiological tests and performance results in the soccer league. Further, it investigated maximal oxygen uptake and maximal strength in proportion to body mass for soccer players. A secondary aim was to establish some normative data of Norwegian elite soccer players.

Methods: Two teams from the Norwegian elite soccer league participated in the study.

Results/conclusion: The present study supports previous investigations indicating a positive relationship between maximal aerobic capacity, physical strength, and performance results in the elite soccer league. It is concluded that for soccer players, maximal oxygen uptake should be expressed in relation to body mass raised to the power of 0.75 and maximal strength in relation to body mass raised to the power of 0.67, when the aim is to evaluate maximal aerobic capacity when running and strength capacity among players with different body mass. Midfield players had significantly higher maximal oxygen uptake compared with defense players using the traditional expression, mL x kg(-1) x min(-1), while no significant differences were found expressing maximal oxygen uptake either absolutely (L x min[-1]) or in relation to body mass raised to the power of 0.75 (mL x kg[-0.75] x min[-1]) among players grouped by position. There was a significant correlation (r = 0.61, P < 0.01) between squat IRM and vertical jump height. Vertical jump heights for defense and forward players were significantly higher compared with midfield players. Mean results from the laboratory test were 63.7 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1) or 188.6 mL x kg[-0.75] x min(-1) for maximal oxygen uptake, 150 kg or 8.0 kg x mb(-0.67) for 90 degrees squats, 79.9 kg or 4.4 kg x mb(-0.67) for bench press. Mean values of vertical jump height were 54.9 cm.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Body Mass Index
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Soccer / physiology*