Why soccer players are more fit
When choosing a sport, women tend to favour cardiovascular training to strength training although the build-up of muscles and bone strength are vital to preserve health into old age.
"While playing soccer, the women have high heart rates and perform many sprints, turns, kicks and tackles, making soccer an effective integration of both cardio and strength training", says project leader Peter Krustrup.
"Our study shows that the 16 weeks of recreational women's soccer causes marked improvement in maximal oxygen uptake, muscle mass and physical performance, including the endurance, intermittent exercise and sprinting ability, explains Peter Krustrup, and continues
"This makes soccer a very favourable choice of exercise training for women.
In the recent decade, we have seen a significant rise in women and girls playing soccer. It seems as though women are really beginning to take in soccer and make it a popular sport for women on their own terms. This is a very positive step forward, not only because of the improved physical fitness and health profile but also for the enjoyment of sports", Krustrup concludes.
The present results will be submitted online in the high-level international journal "Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports" next week (Bangsbo, Nielsen, Mohr, Randers, Krustrup, Brito, Nybo and Krustrup. Performance enhancements and muscular adaptations of a 16-week recreational football intervention for untrained women. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2009).
In January 2010, the same journal will publish a supplementum describing multiple health effects of recreational football for various subject groups, including men, women, young and elderly. The supplementum includes one review and
|Contact: Peter Krustrup|
University of Copenhagen