Effects of different re-warm up activities in football players' performance

PLoS One. 2017 Jun 29;12(6):e0180152. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180152. eCollection 2017.


Warm up routines are commonly used to optimize football performance and prevent injuries. Yet, official pre-match protocols may require players to passively rest for approximately 10 to 15 minutes between the warm up and the beginning of the match. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the effect of different re-warm up activities on the physical performance of football players. Twenty-Two Portuguese elite under-19 football players participated in the study conducted during the competitive season. Different re-warm up protocols were performed 6 minutes after the same standardized warm up in 4 consecutive days in a crossover controlled approach: without, eccentric, plyometric and repeated changes of direction. Vertical jump and Sprint performances were tested immediately after warm up and 12 minutes after warm up. Results showed that repeated changes of direction and plyometrics presented beneficial effects to jump and sprint. Different practical implications may be taken from the eccentric protocol since a vertical jump impairment was observed, suggesting a possibly harmful effect. The absence of re-warm up activities may be detrimental to players' physical performance. However, the inclusion of re-warm up prior to match is a complex issue, since the manipulation of volume, intensity and recovery may positively or negatively affect the subsequent performance. In fact, this exploratory study shows that eccentric exercise may be harmful for physical performance when performed prior a football match. However, plyometric and repeated changes of direction exercises seem to be simple, quick and efficient activities to attenuate losses in vertical jump and sprint capacity after warm up. Coaches should aim to develop individual optimal exercise modes in order to optimize physical performance after re warm activities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Portugal
  • Soccer*
  • Warm-Up Exercise*
  • Young Adult

Grant support

CIDESD is a research unit supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, (UID/DTP/04045/2013) and by the European Regional Development Fund, through COMPETE 2020 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006969). This research is part of NanoSTIMA: Macro-to-Nano Human Sensing: Towards Integrated Multimodal Health Monitoring and Analytics, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through NORTE 2020 (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000016). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.