June 2016

Preseason hip weakness contributes to ankle sprain risk in soccer players

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Preseason hip abductor strength is associated with risk of lateral noncontact ankle sprain in soccer players, according to research presented in early June at the annual ACSM meeting in Boston.

Investigators from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles and the University of Isfahan in Iran performed hip strength testing in 185 male professional soccer players with no history of lower extremity injury in the previous six months. Of those, 25 went on to suffer an ankle sprain during the soccer season.

Preseason hip abductor strength was significantly greater for the uninjured players than the injured players. Using a clinical cutoff value for hip abductor strength of 33.8% of body weight, those above the cutoff had a 26.7% risk of ankle sprain while those below had an 8% risk.

However, hip abductor strength explained only 7.1% of the variance in injury status.

“Hip strength is only one of the variables to consider in preventing ankle injury,” said Rachel K. Straub, MS, CSCS, a graduate student in USC’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, who presented the findings.


Straub RK, Khayambashi K, Ghoddosi N, Powers CM. Hip abductor strength predicts lateral noncontact ankle sprains in male soccer players. Presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Boston, June 2016.

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