Etiology and Recovery of Neuromuscular Fatigue following Simulated Soccer Match-Play

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: We profiled the etiology and recovery of neuromuscular fatigue post-simulated-soccer-match-play. Methods: Fifteen semi-professional players completed a 90 min simulated soccer match. Pre-, immediately-post and at 24, 48 and 72 h participants completed a battery of neuromuscular, physical and perceptual tests. Perceived fatigue and muscle soreness were assessed via visual analogue scales. Maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) and twitch responses to electrical (femoral nerve) and magnetic (motor cortex) stimulation during isometric knee-extensor contractions and at rest were measured to assess central (voluntary activation, VA) and peripheral (quadriceps potentiated twitch force, Qtw,pot) fatigue, and responses to single and paired-magnetic stimuli were assessed to quantify corticospinal excitability and short-intracortical inhibition (SICI), respectively. Countermovement jump, reactive strength index and sprint performance were assessed to profile the recovery of physical function. Results: Simulated match-play elicited decrements in MVC that remained unresolved at 72 h (P = 0.01). Central fatigue was prominent immediately post-exercise (-9% reduction in VA) and remained depressed at 48 h (-2%, P = 0.03). Qtw,pot declined by 14% post-exercise, remained similarly depressed at 24 h and had not fully recovered by 72 h post (-5%, P = 0.01). Corticospinal excitability was reduced at 24 h (P = 0.047) only, and no change in SICI was observed. Measures of jump performance and self-reported fatigue followed a similar time-course recovery to neuromuscular fatigue. Conclusion: Central processes contribute significantly to the neuromuscular fatigue experienced in the days post-soccer-match-play, but the magnitude and slower recovery of peripheral fatigue indicates that it is the resolution of muscle function that primarily explains the recovery of neuromuscular fatigue post-soccer match-play.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-964
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5
Early online date3 Jan 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Etiology and Recovery of Neuromuscular Fatigue following Simulated Soccer Match-Play'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this