Strength and power characteristics in English elite rugby league players

Paul Comfort, Phillip Graham-Smith, Martyn J Matthews, Chris Bamber
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011, 25 (5): 1374-84
The aim of this article is to present data on the strength and power characteristics of forwards and backs in a squad of elite English rugby league players and compare these findings to previously published literature from Australia. Participants were elite English rugby league players (n = 18; height 184.16 ± 5.76 cm; body mass 96.87 ± 10.92 kg, age 21.67 ± 4.10 years) who were all regular first team players for an English Superleague club. Testing included 5-, 10-, 20-m sprint times, agility, vertical jump, 40-kg squat jump, isometric squat, concentric and eccentric isokinetic knee flexion and extension. Independent t-tests were performed to compare results between forwards and backs, with paired samples t-tests used to compare bilateral differences from isokinetic assessments and agility tests. Forwards demonstrated significantly (p < 0.05) greater body mass (102.15 ± 7.5 kg), height (186.30 ± 5.47 cm), power during the 40-kg jump squat (2,106 ± 421 W), isometric force (3,122 ± 611 N) and peak torque during left concentric isokinetic knee extension (296.1 ± 54.2 N·m) compared to the backs (86.30 ± 8.97 kg; 179.87 ± 3.72 cm; 1,709 ± 286 W; 2,927 ± 607 N; 241.7 ± 35.2 N·m, respectively). However, no significant differences (p > 0.05) were noted between forwards and backs during right concentric isokinetic knee extension (274.8 ± 37.7 and 246.8 ± 25.8 N·m), concentric isokinetic knee flexion for both left (158.8 ± 28.6 and 141.0 ± 22. 7 N·m) and right legs (155.3 ± 22.9 and 128.0 ± 23.9 N·m), eccentric isokinetic knee flexion and extension, hamstring quadriceps ratios, or vertical jump (37.25 ± 4.35 and 40.33 ± 6.38 cm). In comparison, relative measures demonstrated that backs performed significantly better compared to the forwards during the 40-kg jump squat (20.71 ± 5.15 and 19.91 ± 3.91 W·kg⁻¹) and the isometric squat (34.32 ± 7.9 and 30.65 ± 5.34 N·kg⁻¹). Bilateral comparisons revealed no significant differences (p > 0.05) between left and right leg performances in the agility test (3.26 ± 0.18 and 3.24 ± 0.18 seconds), or between left (0.7 ± 0.10) and right (0.71 ± 0.17) leg eccentric hamstring concentric quadriceps ratios. The results demonstrate that absolute strength and power measures are generally higher in forwards compared to in backs; however, when body mass is taken into account and relative measures compared, the backs outperform the forwards.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"