Effects of immediate post-game recovery procedures on muscle soreness, power and flexiblity levels over the next 48 hours

J Sci Med Sport. 2005 Jun;8(2):210-21. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(05)80012-x.


This study investigated whether or not immediate post-game recovery procedures could enhance the rate of recovery in Australian football players in the first 48 hr after a game. Control, stretch, pool walking and hot/cold recoveries were trialled. Typical next day recovery training (25 min of pool exercise) was also performed after each game. Muscle soreness ratings and measures of flexibility (sit and reach) and power (6-s cycling sprint and vertical jump) were obtained 45 hr pre-game (Thursdays) (baseline), 15 hr post-game (Sundays, prior to "next day" recovery) and 48 hr post-game (Mondays). Performance ratios (Sunday and Monday scores divided respectively by the Thursday score) were used as the primary index of recovery. Muscle soreness was significantly greater (p<0.01) than baseline on both Sunday and Monday in all conditions, but no differences between the three recoveries and control were evident. On Sunday, vertical jump and 6-s work and power scores were only significantly lower than baseline values in control and performance ratios recorded two significant differences (vertical jump: pool walking > control, p<0.01; 6-s power: stretch > control, p<0.01) and moderate to large effect sizes (>0.3). No differences were found between the three experimental recoveries. On Monday no significant differences were recorded in performance between the recoveries and the effect sizes were of lower magnitude. In conclusion, recovery of muscle soreness, flexibility and power at 48 hr post-game was not significantly enhanced by performing an immediate post-game recovery beyond that achieved by performing only next day recovery training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pliability
  • Recovery of Function
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Western Australia