The impact of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on recovery after intensive, muscle damaging, maximal speed training in professional team sports players

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Abstract

Objectives: During congested fixture periods in team sports, limited recovery time and increased travel hinder the implementation of many recovery strategies; thus alternative methods are required. We examined the impact of a neuromuscular electrical stimulation device on 24-h recovery from an intensive training session in professional players. Design: Twenty-eight professional rugby and football academy players completed this randomised and counter-balanced study, on 2 occasions, separated by 7 days. Methods: After baseline perceived soreness, blood (lactate and creatine kinase) and saliva (testosterone and cortisol) samples were collected, players completed a standardised warm-up and baseline countermovement jumps (jump height). Players then completed 60. m. ×. 50. m maximal sprints, with 5. min recovery between efforts. After completing the sprint session, players wore a neuromuscular electrical stimulation device or remained in normal attire (CON) for 8. h. All measures were repeated immediately, 2 and 24-h post-sprint. Results: Player jump height was reduced from baseline at all time points under both conditions; however, at 24-h neuromuscular electrical stimulation was significantly more recovered (mean. ±. SD; neuromuscular electrical stimulation -3.2. ±. 3.2 vs. CON -7.2. ±. 3.7%; P . 0.05). Conclusions: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation improves recovery from intensive training in professional team sports players. This strategy offers an easily applied recovery strategy which may have particular application during sleep and travel.

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Taylor, T., West, D. J., Howatson, G., Jones, C., Bracken, R. M., Love, T. D., … Kilduff, L. P. (2015). The impact of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on recovery after intensive, muscle damaging, maximal speed training in professional team sports players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(3), 328–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2014.04.004

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