Plantar flexor neuromuscular adjustments following match-play football in hot and cool conditions

O. Girard, L. Nybo, M. Mohr, S. Racinais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We assessed neuromuscular fatigue and recovery of the plantar flexors after playing football with or without severe heat stress. Neuromuscular characteristics of the plantar flexors were assessed in 17 male players at baseline and ∼30min, 24, and 48h after two 90-min football matches in temperate (∼20°C and 55% rH) and hot (∼43°C and 20% rH) environments. Measurements included maximal voluntary strength, muscle activation, twitch contractile properties, and rate of torque development and soleus EMG (i.e., root mean square activity) rise from 0 to 30, -50, -100, and -200 ms during maximal isometric contractions for plantar flexors. Voluntary activation and peak twitch torque were equally reduced (-1.5% and -16.5%, respectively; P<0.05) post-matches relative to baseline in both conditions, the latter persisting for at least 48h, whereas strength losses (∼5%) were not significant. Absolute explosive force production declined (P<0.05) 30ms after contraction onset independently of condition, with no change at any other epochs. Globally, normalized rate of force development and soleus EMG activity rise values remained unchanged. In football, match-induced alterations in maximal and rapid torque production capacities of the plantar flexors are moderate and do not differ after competing in temperate and hot environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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