Andersson, J., Raastad, T., Nilsson, J., Paulsen, G., Garthe, I., & Kadi, F. (2008). Neuromuscular fatigue and recovery in elite female soccer: Effects of active recovery. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40, 372-380.

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This study investigated the time course of recovery from neuromuscular fatigue and some biochemical changes in elite females (N = 17) between two soccer matches separated by an active or passive recovery regime. Measures were taken before, immediately after, 5, 21, 45, 51, and 69 hours after a first match, and immediately after a second match. Some Ss (N = 8) performed active recovery (submaximal cycling at 60% of HRpeak and low-intensity resistance training at < 50% 1 RM) 22 and 46 hours after the first match.

After the first match, there was a significant decrease in sprint performance, countermovement jump, and peak torque in knee extension and flexion, and an increase in creatine kinase, urea, uric acid, and muscle soreness. Sprint ability was first to return to baseline (after five hours) followed by urea and uric acid (21 hours), isokinetic knee extension (27 hours) and flexion (51 hours), creatine kinase, and muscle soreness (69 hours), while the countermovement jump was still depressed at the beginning of the second match. There were no significant differences in recovery factors between the active and passive recovery groups. The magnitude of the neuromuscular and biochemical changes after the second match was similar to that observed after the first match.

Implication. There are differences in the recovery times of various neuromuscular and biochemical parameters in females after a soccer match. There was no difference between active and passive recoveries in the four neuromuscular and three biochemical parameters.

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