Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull Performance in Rugby Players: A Systematic Literature Review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) is a multi-joint test of whole-body force production relevant to rugby players. “Rugby AND (mid-thigh pull OR midthigh pull OR mid thigh pull” were searched in PubMed, Sportdiscus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, and Google Scholar; the final date of search was 24 January 2018. Data extraction from 24 articles included subject characteristics, force data, and IMTP testing procedures. Select ranges of peak forces reported were: Youth: 1162–2374 N; Academy: 1855–3104 N; Professional: 2254–3851 N. Rate of force development (RFD) at 100 and 200 ms ranged from 5521 to 11,892 N and 5403 to 8405 N, respectively, among professional rugby players. Studies’ research design were of moderate quality, but most studies lacked detailed reporting of IMTP procedures. Variability of force characteristics derived from the IMTP within similar populations (e.g., approximately 200% difference in peak force between samples of professional rugby league players) as well as large and unexpected overlaps between dissimilar populations, limit conclusions about force production capabilities relative to playing level, likely due to limitations and lack of standardization of IMTP procedures. Greater uniformity in IMTP testing procedures and reporting is needed. This manuscript provides a guide for reporting needs when presenting results from an IMTP in research.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology
StatePublished - Dec 8 2020


  • maximal strength
  • isometric strength
  • peak power
  • rate of force production
  • force development
  • rugby union
  • rugby league

Cite this