Effects of Consecutive Matches on Isometric Hamstring Strength, Flexibility Values and Neuromuscular Performance in Female Field Hockey Players. A Prospective, Observational Study.
Abstract: This study aimed to analyze the effects of match congestion in a short period on isometric hamstring strength and hip/ankle range of motion in female field hockey players. Fourteen professional female field hockey players (age: 20.0 5.4 years) played two consecutive hockey matches in 24 h and maximal isometric hamstring strength and hip and ankle range of motion were obtained before and after the first match, after the second match, and 48 h after the second match. Furthermore, locomotion patterns and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded during hockey competitions. Isometric knee flexion strength showed significantly higher values 48 h after the second match for the non-dominant limb (p 0.005, p2 = 0.19), while no differences were reported in the dominant limb (p = 0.370, p2 = 0.05). In addition, no differences were reported in the range-of-motion (ROM) variables such as the straight leg raise test or ankle dorsiflexion test (p = 0.075–0.217, p2 = 0.01–0.03). The countermovement jump height steadily increased over the matches except between post-match 2 and 48 h after post-match 2 (p < 0.001, 2 = 0.382). Two consecutive official league field hockey matches played within 24 h did not have a negative effect on lower-limb risk factors (strength, hip and ankle ranges of motion, and ratings of perceived exertion) in female field hockey players directly, but they improved 48 h after the matches. This could indicate that 48 h recovery period following matches might be ideal for female field hockey players.
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