Muscle strength and anaerobic performance in football players with cerebral palsy

Javier Yanci, Ph.D., Carlo Castagna, Ph.D., Asier Los Arcos, Ph.D., Alfredo Santalla, Ph.D., Ignacio Grande, Ph.D., Joaquín Figueroa, Ph.D., Jesús Camara, Ph.D.
Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 2, p313–319


This is the first study that quantified the anaerobic performance in football players with cerebral palsy (CP).


This study aimed to examine anaerobic fitness in a population of football players with CP using vertical jumping (VJ) and Wingate tests.


Twelve players (age 26.8 ± 4.8 yr, body mass 66.2 ± 4.8 kg, height 173.7 ± 6.4 cm, body mass index 22.2 ± 1.9 kg m−2) from the Spanish National Football Team with CP which had 9.4 ± 3.7 years of playing experience performed the VJ and Wingate anaerobic tests.


Vertical jump height was 20.0 ± 1.2 cm for squat jump (HSJ) and 23.9 ± 5.4 cm for countermovement jump (HCMJ). Wingate test peak power (PPOW) was 490.6 ± 125.8 W (7.35 ± 1.53 W kg−1). HCMJ was largely (r = −0.631, p = 0.028) and very-largely (r = −0.710, p = 0.01) associated with PPOW (W kg−1) and mean power output (MPOW) (W kg−1), respectively. Squat jump test peak power (W) showed a large association (r = −0.656, p = 0.021) with MPOW (W and W kg−1). The CMJ height resulted 19.5% higher than SJ.


Results showed low VJ and anaerobic capacity of football players with CP compared to national players without CP and the general population. In football players with CP the difference (19.5%) between VJ with or without countermovement (CMJ-SJ) was higher than reported for national players without CP. Further studies examining the effect of football practice on neuromuscular performance in subjects with CP are warranted.