Modulators of Change-of-Direction Economy After Repeated Sprints in Elite Soccer Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $114.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $152.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $217.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $289.00

Purpose: To investigate the acute effect of repeated-sprint activity (RSA) on change-of-direction economy (assessed using shuttle running economy [SRE]) in soccer players and explore neuromuscular and cardiorespiratory characteristics that may modulate this effect. Methods: Eleven young elite male soccer players (18.5 [1.4] y old) were tested on 2 different days during a 2-week period in their preseason. On day 1, lower-body stiffness, power and force were assessed via countermovement jumps, followed by an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion to measure maximal aerobic capacity. On day 2, 2 SRE tests were performed before and after a repeated-sprint protocol with heart rate, minute ventilation, and blood lactate measured. Results: Pooled group analysis indicated no significant changes for SRE following RSA due to variability in individual responses, with a potentiation or impairment effect of up to 4.5% evident across soccer players. The SRE responses to RSA were significantly and largely correlated to players’ lower-body stiffness (r = .670; P = .024), and moderately (but not significantly) correlated to players’ force production (r = −.455; P = .237) and blood lactate after RSA (r = .327; P = .326). Conclusions: In summary, SRE response to RSA in elite male soccer players appears to be highly individual. Higher lower-body stiffness appears as a relevant physical contributor to preserve or improve SRE following RSA.

Dolci and Piggott are with the School of Health Science, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA, Australia. Kilding is with the Sports Performance Research Inst New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Spiteri, Chivers, and Hart are with the School of Medical and Health Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia. Chivers and Hart are also with the Inst for Health Research, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA, Australia; and the Exercise Medicine Research Inst, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia. Maiorana is with the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia; and the Allied Health Dept, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia.

Dolci (filippo.dolci@outlook.it) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Dolci F, Hart NH, Kilding AE, Chivers P, Piggott B, Spiteri T. Physical and energetic demand of soccer: a brief review. Strength Cond J. 2020;42(3):7077. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Di Salvo V, Gregson W, Atkinson G, Tordoff P, Drust B. Analysis of high intensity activity in Premier League soccer. Int J Sports Med. 2009;30(3):205212. PubMed ID: 19214939 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Sarmento H, Marcelino R, Anguera MT, CampaniÇo J, Matos N, LeitÃo JC. Match analysis in football: a systematic review. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(20):18311843. PubMed ID: 24787442 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Rampinini E, Coutts AJ, Castagna C, Sassi R, Impellizzeri F. Variation in top level soccer match performance. Int J Sports Med. 2007;28(12):10181024. PubMed ID: 17497575 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Fransson D, Krustrup P, Mohr M. Running intensity fluctuations indicate temporary performance decrement in top-class football. Sci Med Football. 2017;1(1):1017. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Dolci F, Hart N, Kilding A, Chivers P, Piggott B, Spiteri T. Movement economy in soccer: current data and limitations. Sports. 2018;6(4):124. PubMed ID: 30360580 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Hoff J, Helgerud J. Endurance and strength training for soccer players. Sports Med. 2004;34(3):165180. PubMed ID: 14987126 doi:

  • 8.

    Dolci F, Andrew K, Spiteri T, et al. Reliability of change-of-direction economy in soccer players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2021;16(2):280286. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Chavda S, Bromley T, Jarvis P, et al. Force-time characteristics of the countermovement jump: analyzing the curve in excel. Strength Cond J. 2018;40(2):6777. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Secomb JL, Nimphius S, Farley OR, Lundgren L, Tran TT, Sheppard JM. Lower-body muscle structure and jump performance of stronger and weaker surfing athletes. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016;11(5):652657. PubMed ID: 26561721 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Farley CT, Gonzalez O. Leg stiffness and stride frequency in human running. J Biomec. 1996;29(2):181186. doi:

  • 12.

    Markovic G, Dizdar D, Jukic I, Cardinale M. Reliability and factorial validity of squat and countermovement jump tests. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(3):551555. PubMed ID: 15320660 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Macfarlane D, Wong P. Validity, reliability and stability of the portable Cortex Metamax 3B gas analysis system. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(7):25392547. PubMed ID: 22075643 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Ziogas GG, Patras KN, Stergiou N, Georgoulis AD. Velocity at lactate threshold and running economy must also be considered along with maximal oxygen uptake when testing elite soccer players during preseason. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(2):414419. PubMed ID: 20351577 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Silva JR, Magalhães J, Ascensão A, Seabra AF, Rebelo AN. Training status and match activity of professional soccer players throughout a season. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(1):2030. PubMed ID: 22344051 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Bloomfield J, Polman R, O’Donoghue P. Physical demands of different positions in FA Premier League soccer. J Sports Sci Med. 2007;6(1):63. PubMed ID: 24149226

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Fletcher JR, Esau SP, Macintosh BR. Economy of running: beyond the measurement of oxygen uptake. J Appl Physiol. 2009;107(6):19181922. PubMed ID: 19833811 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Lacour J-R, Bourdin M. Factors affecting the energy cost of level running at submaximal speed. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015;115(4):651673. PubMed ID: 25681108 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Rampinini E, Bishop D, Marcora S, Bravo DF, Sassi R, Impellizzeri F. Validity of simple field tests as indicators of match-related physical performance in top-level professional soccer players. Int J Sports Med. 2007;28(03):228235. PubMed ID: 17024621 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Hopkins WG. Measures of reliability in sports medicine and science. Sport Med. 2000;30(1):115. PubMed ID: 10907753 doi:

  • 21.

    Hopkins WG. Spreadsheets for analysis of validity and reliability. Sportscience. 2017;19:36–42.

  • 22.

    Sirotic AC, Coutts AJ. The reliability of physiological and performance measures during simulated team-sport running on a non-motorised treadmill. J Sci Med Sport. 2008;11(5):500509. PubMed ID: 17706459 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Hopkins W, Marshall S, Batterham A, Hanin J. Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2009;41(1):3. PubMed ID: 19092709 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Barnes KR, Mcguigan MR, Kilding AE. Lower-body determinants of running economy in male and female distance runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(5):12891297. PubMed ID: 24126900 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Collins MH, Pearsall DJ, Zavorsky GS, Bateni H, Turcotte RA, Montgomery DL. Acute effects of intense interval training on running mechanics. J Sports Sci. 2000;18(2):8390. PubMed ID: 10718563 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    James DV, Doust JH. Oxygen uptake during moderate intensity running: response following a single bout of interval training. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1998;77(6):551555. PubMed ID: 9650742 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Bojsen-Møller J, Magnusson SP, Rasmussen LR, Kjaer M, Aagaard P. Muscle performance during maximal isometric and dynamic contractions is influenced by the stiffness of the tendinous structures. J Appl Physiol. 2005;99(3):986994. PubMed ID: 15860680 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Girard O, Mendez-Villanueva A, Bishop D. Repeated-sprint ability—part I. Sports Med. 2011;41(8):673694. PubMed ID: 21780851 doi:

  • 29.

    Sassi A, Stefanescu A, Bosio A, Riggio M, Rampinini E. The cost of running on natural grass and artificial turf surfaces. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(3):606611. PubMed ID: 20647952 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Mendez-Villanueva A, Hamer P, Bishop D. Fatigue in repeated-sprint exercise is related to muscle power factors and reduced neuromuscular activity. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008;103(4):411419. PubMed ID: 18368419 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Meyer T, Faude O, Scharhag J, Urhausen A, Kindermann W. Is lactic acidosis a cause of exercise induced hyperventilation at the respiratory compensation point? Br J Sports Med. 2004;38(5):622625. PubMed ID: 15388552 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Zemková E, Hamar D. Physiological mechanisms of post-exercise balance impairment. Sports Med. 2014;44(4):437448. PubMed ID: 24264058 doi:

  • 33.

    Dolci F, Kilding AE, Spiteri T, et al. HIIT shock microcycle improves running performance but not economy in female soccer players [published online ahead of print December 11, 2020]. Int J Sports Med. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Morcillo JA, Jiménez-Reyes P, Cuadrado-Peñafiel V, Lozano E, Ortega-Becerra M, Párraga J. Relationships between repeated sprint ability, mechanical parameters, and blood metabolites in professional soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(6):16731682. PubMed ID: 25463691 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    McMahon JJ, Comfort P, Pearson S. Lower limb stiffness: effect on performance and training considerations. Strength Cond J. 2012;34(6):94101. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 830 830 94
Full Text Views 34 34 1
PDF Downloads 27 27 2