• Recovery kinetics of knee flexor and extensor strength after a football match

      Draganidis, D; Chatzinikolaou, A; Avloniti, A; Barbero-Álvarez, JC; Mohr, M; Malliou, P; Gourgoulis, V; Deli, CK; Douroudos, II; Margonis, K; et al. (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2015-06-04)
      We examined the temporal changes of isokinetic strength performance of knee flexor (KF) and extensor (KE) strength after a football match. Players were randomly assigned to a control (N = 14, participated only in measurements and practices) or an experimental group (N = 20, participated also in a football match). Participants trained daily during the two days after the match. Match and training overload was monitored with GPS devices. Venous blood was sampled and muscle damage was assessed pre-match, post-match and at 12h, 36h and 60h post-match. Isometric strength as well as eccentric and concentric peak torque of knee flexors and extensors in both limbs (dominant and non-dominant) were measured on an isokinetic dynamometer at baseline and at 12h, 36h and 60h after the match. Functional (KFecc/KEcon) and conventional (KFcon/KEcon) ratios were then calculated. Only eccentric peak torque of knee flexors declined at 60h after the match in the control group. In the experimental group: a) isometric strength of knee extensors and knee flexors declined (P<0.05) at 12h (both limbs) and 36h (dominant limb only), b) eccentric and concentric peak torque of knee extensors and flexors declined (P<0.05) in both limbs for 36h at 60°/s and for 60h at 180°/s with eccentric peak torque of knee flexors demonstrating a greater (P<0.05) reduction than concentric peak torque, c) strength deterioration was greater (P<0.05) at 180°/s and in dominant limb, d) the functional ratio was more sensitive to match-induced fatigue demonstrating a more prolonged decline. Discriminant and regression analysis revealed that strength deterioration and recovery may be related to the amount of eccentric actions performed during the match and athletes' football-specific conditioning. Our data suggest that recovery kinetics of knee flexor and extensor strength after a football match demonstrate strength, limb and velocity specificity and may depend on match physical overload and players' physical conditioning level.