Scheduling of Eccentric Lower-limb Injury Prevention Exercises during the Soccer micro-cycle: Which day of the week?
Lovell R, Whalan M, Marshall P, Sampson JA, Siegler JC and Buchheit M. Scheduling of Eccentric Lower-limb Injury Prevention Exercises during the Soccer micro-cycle: Which day of the week? Scand J Med Sci Sports. In Press.
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Scheduling eccentric-based injury prevention programs (IPP) during the common 6-
day micro-cycle in Soccer is challenged by recovery and tapering phases. This study
profiled muscle damage, neuromuscular performance, and perceptual responses to a
lower-limb eccentric-based IPP administered 1 (MD+1) versus 3 days (MD+3) postmatch.
18 semi-professional players were monitored daily during 3 in-season 6-day
micro-cycles, including weekly competitive fixtures. Capillary creatine kinase
concentration (CK), posterior lower limb isometric peak force (PF), countermovement
jump (CMJ) performance, and muscle soreness were assessed 24 h prior
to match-day (baseline), and every 24 h up to 120 h post-match. The IPP consisted
of lunges, single stiff leg dead-lifts, single leg-squats and Nordic hamstring
exercises. Performing the IPP on MD+1 attenuated the decline in CK normally
observed following match-play (CON: 142%; MD+3: 166%; small
differences). When IPP was delivered on MD+3, CK was higher versus CON and
MD+1 trials on both MD+4 (MD+3: 260%; CON: 146%; MD+1: 151%; moderate
differences) and MD+5 (MD+3: 209%; CON: 125%; MD+1: 127%; small
differences). Soreness ratings were not exacerbated when the IPP was delivered on
MD+1, but when prescribed on MD+3, hamstring soreness ratings remained higher
on MD+4 and MD+5 (small differences). No between trial differences were observed
for PF and CMJ. Administering the IPP in the middle of the micro-cycle (MD+3)
increased measures of muscle damage and soreness, which remained elevated on
the day prior to the next match (MD+5). Accordingly, IPP should be scheduled early
in the micro-cycle, to avoid compromising preparation for the following match.
Keywords: injury prevention, scheduling, muscle, soccer