Background Muscular tightness is frequently postulated as an intrinsic risk factor for a muscle injury in soccer. Further, hamstring, iliopsoas and quadriceps flexibility measurements are of clinical relevance for monitoring recovery after such injury.
Objective Describe normative data of flexibility for the hamstring, iliopsoas and quadriceps.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting The modified Thomas test was used to measure flexibility for iliopsoas and quadriceps. The passive knee extension test was used to determine the hamstring flexibility. The ICC of these tests range from 0.97 to 0.99. All these measurements were performed at Sports Injuries Prevention and Rehabilitation Laboratory.
Participants 182 elite male soccer players participated in this study; the means for age were of 18.3±3.6 years, body mass of 73.3±8.5 kg and height of 1.78±10.6 m.
Assessment of risk factors Hamstring, iliopsoas and quadriceps flexibility.
Results For the iliopsoas and quadriceps flexibility the means were -6.76°± 5.7 and 55.2°±8.35 in the dominant leg (DL) and –7.6°±5.1 and 53.1°±8.2 in the non-dominant leg (NDL), respectively. The hamstring means were 134°±8.5 in the DL and 134.7°±8.3 in the NDL. The DL were significantly less flexible than the NDL for iliopsoas (P<.0001) and for the quadriceps the NDL were less flexible (P<.0001).
Conclusions The study has provided normative data for a clinical test measuring flexibility of the hamstring, iliopsoas and quadriceps. The athletes had asymmetries between limbs for the MTT and had hamstring flexibility values similar to injured soccer players. Therefore, the flexibility assessment should be performed in preseason to guide preventive interventions and provide baseline values to rehabilitation parameters after a muscle strain.