Changes in anthropometry and performance, and their inter-relationships, across three seasons in elite youth rugby league players
AffiliationUniversity of New England, Australia ; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; University of Chester
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AbstractThis study investigated changes in anthropometry and performance, and their inter-relationships, across three consecutive seasons (under-15 to under-17 age group) in elite youth rugby league players. Each player took part in annual anthropometrical and performance assessments, comprising measurements of stature; body mass; limb lengths and circumference; skinfolds, predicted muscle cross-sectional area (CSA); 20 m speed, counter-movement jump height, vertical power and aerobic power. Lean body mass % changed (P < 0.05) between the under-15 (70.9 ± 5.9 %), under-16 (72.0 ± 5.8 %) and the under-17 age groups (74.1 ± 5.7 %). Likewise, predicted quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) also changed (P < 0.05) between each age group (under-15 = 120.9 ± 37.8 cm2; under-16 = 133.2 ± 36.0 cm2; under-17 = 154.8 ± 28.3 cm2). Concomitant changes between the under-15 and under-16 group were found for 20 m speed (3.5 ± 0.1 cf. 3.4 ± 0.2 s; P = 0.008) and predicted jumping power (3611.3 ± 327.3 W cf. 4081.5 ± 453.9 W; P = 0.003). Both lean body mass and quadriceps muscle CSA consistently, related to both 20 m sprint time and jumping power, with r-values ranging between -0.39 to –0.63 (20 m sprint time) and 0.55 to 0.75 (jumping power). Our findings demonstrate the importance of gains in lean body mass across later-adolescence that support the ability to generate horizontal speed and predicted vertical power. This information should inform the expectations and subsequent training programs of elite rugby league practitioners.
CitationJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2014, 28(11), pp. 3128-3136.
PublisherLippincott, Williams & Wilkins
DescriptionThis is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2014, 28(11), pp. 3128-3136.
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