Effectiveness of active versus passive recovery strategies after futsal games

J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Sep;22(5):1402-12. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31817396ac.


This study aimed to investigate the effects of immediate postgame recovery interventions (seated rest, supine electrostimulation, low-intensity land exercises, and water exercises) on anaerobic performance (countermovement jump [CMJ], bounce jumping, 10-m sprint), hormones (salivary cortisol, urinary catecholamines), and subjective ratings (rate of perceived exertion [RPE], leg muscle pain, Questionnaire of Recovery Stress for Athletes [RestQ Sport], 10-point Likert scale), and hours of sleep of futsal players. Heart rate (HR), blood lactate, and RPE were used to evaluate the intensity of 4 futsal games in 10 players using a crossover design (P < 0.05), randomly allocating athletes to 1 of the 4 recovery interventions at the end of each game. No significant difference emerged between HR, blood lactate, RPE, and level of hydration of the games. A significant difference (P < 0.001) between games emerged for total urinary catecholamines, with an increase from the first to the second game and a gradual reduction up to the fourth game. After the game, significant reductions in CMJ (P < 0.001) and 10-m sprints (P < 0.05) emerged. No significant difference was found between recovery interventions for anaerobic performances, hormones, muscle pain, and RestQ Sport. Even though a well-balanced diet, rehydration, and controlled lifestyle might represent a sufficient recovery intervention in young elite athletes, the players perceived significantly increased benefit (P < 0.01) from the electrostimulation (7.8 +/- 1.4 points) and water exercises (7.6 +/- 2.1 points) compared to dry exercises (6.6 +/- 1.8 points) and seated rest (5.2 +/- 0.8 points.), which might improve their attitude toward playing. To induce progressive hormonal adaptation to the high exercise load of multiple games, in the last 2 weeks of the preseason, coaches should organize friendly games at a level similar to that of the competitive season.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Catecholamines / urine
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dehydration / physiopathology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analysis
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Rest
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Sleep
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Soccer / psychology
  • Supine Position
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Catecholamines
  • Lactates
  • Hydrocortisone