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Table 3. Cross-sectional area (cm) of quadriceps
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Body mass in Group 2 showed a small but significant increase of 0.41 kg (P<0.05) during the pre-season. The increase in body mass at this period was attributable to a significant increase (P<0.01) in FFW from 65.8 kg to 67.1 kg, which over-compensated for possible losses in body weight by a significant (P<0.01) decline in TFATW from 7.7 kg to 6.8 kg (Table 1). The RFI decreased significantly (P<0.01) from 1265 cm3 to 1158 cm3, the same way as for total body composition; however, RMI increased significantly (P<0.01) from 7221 cm3 to 7411 cm3 (Table 2). The percent changes in TFATW and FFW of the entire body were therefore 11.7% and 2.0 %, or roughly the same level as the respective regional changes in RFI and RMI of 8.5% and 2.6%. While no significant correlation was found between increases in FFW and RMI, there was a significant (P<0.01) correlation between the decreases in TFATW and RFI (Figure 2). As such, unlike the changes observed during the off-season, the change in body composition was similar in both the entire body and thigh during the pre-season period, where the muscle component increased simultaneously with decreases in the fat component, which is certainly a favourable improvement for soccer performance.