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Impact of a modified progressive Copenhagen adduction exercise programme on hip adduction strength and postexercise muscle soreness in professional footballers
  1. George Polglass1,2,
  2. Adam Burrows2,
  3. Matthew Willett1,3
  1. 1School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Sports Science and Medicine, Derby County Football Club, Derby, UK
  3. 3Centre or Precision Rehabilitation for Spinal Pain (CPR Spine), School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to George Polglass; george.polglass{at}


Background Reduced hip adduction strength has been identified as a key predisposing factor in developing hip and groin injuries. The Copenhagen adduction programme has been shown to increase hip adduction strength in semiprofessional footballers but can cause muscle soreness. Therefore, a modified progressive Copenhagen adduction (MPCA) programme has been designed to increase hip adduction strength while limiting muscle soreness.

Objective To investigate the effect of an 8-week MPCA exercise on eccentric hip adduction and abduction strength in senior professional footballers.

Methods 25 senior professional footballers completed an 8-week MPCA strengthening programme. Eccentric hip adduction (EHAD) and eccentric hip abduction (EHAB) strengths were measured. Changes in preintervention and postintervention strengths and EHAD:EHAB ratios were calculated. The statistical significance between strength changes was assessed with dependent t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests due to the distribution of the data (p<0.05). Delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and rate of perceived exertion were measured throughout the programme.

Results There were statistically significant increases in EHAD strength (24% and 25%, left and right), EHAB strength (10% and 13%, left and right) and the EHAD:EHAB ratio (12% and 10%, left and right) (p<0.01).

Professional footballers were able to complete the MPCA exercise with low levels of DOMS.

Conclusion An 8-week MPCA exercise elicited significant EHAD and EHAB strength increases with reduced levels of muscle soreness in senior professional footballers.

  • soccer
  • football
  • exercise
  • groin
  • injury

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  • Contributors The lead researcher, GP, completed the planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in the article. AB contributed to the planning and conduct of the study. He was also part of the sports science and medicine team that created the protocol. MW contributed to the planning and reporting of the work described in the article. The Derby County Football Club Sports Science and Medicine team critically reviewed the study proposal and assisted with the planning of the protocol.

  • Funding Funding has been provided by The University of Birmingham.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement statement No patient or public involvement.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval THis study was approved by the University of Birmingham Ethics Committee (reference number CM15/06/17-1).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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