Recovery Kinetics Following Small-Sided Games in Competitive Soccer Players: Does Player Density Size Matter?

Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Panagiotis Tsimeas, Angeliki Anagnostou, Alexandros Varypatis,, Christos Mourikis, Theofanis Tzatzakis, Dimitrios Draganidis, Dimitrios Batsilas, Theodoros Mersinias, Georgios Loules, Athanasios Poulios, Charikleia K. Deli, Alexios Batrakoulis, Athanasios Chatzinikolaou, Magni Mohr, Athanasios Z. Jamurtas, Ioannis G. Fatouros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the recovery kinetics of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), neuromuscular fatigue, and performance following small-sided games (SSGs) of different densities in soccer. Methods: Ten male players randomly completed 3 trials: a control trial (no SSGs), 4v4 SSGs (62.5 m2/player), and 8v8 SSGs (284.4 m2/player). External and internal load were monitored using GPS technology, heart-rate monitors, and rating of perceived exertion. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), creatine kinase (CK), isokinetic strength, countermovement jump (CMJ), and sprint were determined at baseline, as well as at 24, 48, and 72 hours post-SSGs. Neuromuscular fatigue was assessed at baseline and at 1, 2, and 3 hours post-SSGs. Results: DOMS increased (P < .05) in 4v4 for 72 hours and in 8v8 for 24 hours with that of knee flexors being more pronounced than that of extensors. CK increased (P < .05) in 4v4 for 72 hours and in 8v8 for 24 hours. Neuromuscular fatigue increased (P < .05) in 4v4 for 2 hours and in 8v8 for 3 hours. Strength declined (P < .05) in 4v4 for 48 hours and in 8v8 for 72 hours. CMJ decreased (P < .05) in 4v4 for 24 hours and in 8v8 for 48 hours. Sprint decreased (P < .05) for 48 hours in 4v4 and for 72 hours in 8v8. Conclusions: SSGs are associated with a prolonged rise of EIMD and induce short-term neuromuscular fatigue and slow recovery kinetics of strength, jump, and sprinting performance. The time for complete recovery is longer for SSGs of lower density.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1270-1280
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of sports physiology and performance
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • association football
  • fatigue
  • high-intensity intermittent drills
  • muscle damage
  • muscle fatigue
  • player-to-pitch area

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