Effects of soccer vs swim training on bone formation in sedentary middle-aged women

Magni Mohr, Eva W. Helge, Liljan F. Petersen, Annika Lindenskov, Pál Weihe, Jann Mortensen, Niklas R. Jørgensen, Peter Krustrup

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60 Citations (Scopus)



The present study examined the effects of 15 weeks of soccer training and two different swimming training protocols on bone turnover in sedentary middle-aged women.

Eighty-three premenopausal mildly hypertensive women [age: 45 ± 6 (±SD) years, height: 165 ± 6 cm, weight: 80.0 ± 14.1 kg, body fat: 42.6 ± 5.7 %, systolic blood pressure/diastolic blood pressure: 138 ± 6/85 ± 3 mmHg] were randomized into soccer training (SOC, n = 21), high-intensity intermittent swimming (HS, n = 21), moderate-intensity swimming (MS, n = 21) intervention groups, and a control group (C, n = 20). The training groups completed three sessions per week for 15 weeks. DXA scans were performed and resting blood samples were drawn pre- and post-intervention.

In SOC, plasma osteocalcin, procollagen type I N propeptide and C-terminal telopeptide increased (P < 0.05) by 37 ± 15, 52 ± 23 and 42 ± 18 %, respectively, with no changes in MS, HS and C. The intervention-induced increase in SOC was larger (P < 0.05) than in MS, HS and C. In SOC, leg BMC increased (P < 0.05) by 3.1 ± 4.5 %, with a larger increase in SOC than in C. Femoral shaft and trochanter bone mineral density (BMD) increased (P < 0.05) by 1.7 ± 1.9 and 2.4 ± 2.9 %, respectively, in SOC, with a greater (P < 0.05) change in SOC than in MS and C, whereas total body and total leg BMD did not change in any of the groups.

In conclusion, 15 weeks of soccer training with sedentary middle-aged women caused marked increases in bone turnover markers, with concomitant increases in leg bone mass. No changes in bone formation and resorption markers were seen after prolonged submaximal or high-intensity intermittent swimming training. Thus, soccer training appears to provide a powerful osteogenic stimulus in middle-aged women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2671-2679
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2015


  • Training
  • BMC
  • BMD
  • Bone turnover markers
  • Team sports
  • football
  • women


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