Changes in markers of fatigue following a competitive match in elite academy rugby union players
Background: Post-match fatigue has yet to be investigated in
academy rugby union players.
Objectives: To determine the magnitude of change in upper-
(plyometric push-up (PP) flight-time) and lower-body
(countermovement jump (CMJ) mean power) neuromuscular
function (NMF), whole blood creatine kinase (CK) and perception
of well-being following a competitive match in academy rugby
Methods: Fourteen academy rugby union players participated
in the study. Measures were taken 2 h pre-match (baseline) and
immediately post-match. Further testing was also undertaken at
24-, 48- and 72 h respectively post-match. Changes in measures
from baseline were determined using magnitude-based inferences.
Results: Decreases in CMJ mean power were likely substantial
immediately (-5.5±3.3%) post-match, very likely at 24 h (-7±3.9),
likely at 48 h (-5.8±5.4), while likely trivial at 72 h (-0.8±3.8)
post-match. PP flight-time was very likely reduced immediately
(-15.3±7.3%) and 24 h (-11.5±5.7%) post-match, while possibly
increased at 48 h (3.5±6.0%) and likely trivial at 72 h (-0.9±5.4%)
post-match. Decreases in perception of well-being were almost
certainly substantial at 24 h (-24.0±4.3%), very likely at 48 h
(-8.3±5.9%), and likely substantial at 72 h (-3.6±3.7%) post-match.
Increases in CK were almost certainly substantial immediately
(138.5±33%), 24 h (326±78%) and 48 h (176±62%) post-match,
while very likely substantial at 72 h (57±35%) post-match.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the transient and
multidimensional nature of post-match fatigue in academy
rugby union players. Furthermore, the results demonstrate the
individual nature of recovery, with many players demonstrating
different recovery profiles from the group average.
Keywords: collision sport, monitoring, sports injuries
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