Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2019) 18, 479 - 489

Research article
Effects of Specific Core Re-Warm-Ups on Core Function, Leg Perfusion and Second-Half Team Sport-Specific Sprint Performance: A Randomized Crossover Study
Tomas K. Tong1, , Julien S. Baker2, Haifeng Zhang3, Zhaowei Kong4, Jinlei Nie5
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
2 Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Sciences, School of Science, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, Scotland, UK
3 Physical Education College, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, China
4 Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macau, China
5 School of Physical Education and Sports, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macau, China

Tomas K. Tong
✉ Department of Physical Education, AAB935, Academic and Administration Building, Shaw Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University, Renfrew Rd., Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
Publish Date
Received: 25-03-2019
Accepted: 29-05-2019
Published (online): 01-08-2019

This study examined the effects of a specific core exercise program, as a re-warm-up regime during the half-time period, on inspiratory (IM) and core (CM) muscle functions, leg perfusion and the team sport-specific sprint performance in the initial stage of the second half of a simulated exercise task. Nine team-sports players performed a simulated team-sport intermittent exercise protocol (IEP) in two phases, on a non-motorized treadmill, interspersed by a 15-min half-time break. During the half-time period subsequent to the 25-min Phase-1 IEP, the players either rested passively or performed 4-min CM exercise concomitant with inspiratory loaded breathing following 11-min passive recovery. The changes in IM and CM functions, leg perfusion and repeated-sprint ability mediated by the two recovery modes were compared. Following Phase-1 IEP, there was a significant decline in IM and CM functions respectively, revealed by the decreases in maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax: -8.1%) and performance of a sport-specific endurance plank test (SEPT: -29.7%, p < 0.05). With the 15-min passive recovery, the decline in IM and CM functions from pre-exercise levels were not restored satisfactorily (PImax: -6.4%, SEPT: -19.0%, p < 0.05). Moreover, repeated-sprint ability during the Phase-2 IEP tended to decrease (peak velocity: -2.3%, mean velocity: -2.1%) from the levels recorded in Phase-1. In contrast, following the re-warm-up exercises during half-time, the restoration of IM and CM function was accelerated (PImax: -0.9%, SEPT: -3.3%, p <0 .05). This was associated with enhanced repeated-sprint ability (peak velocity: +3.0%, mean velocity: +2.0%, p < 0.05) in Phase-2 IEP. Nevertheless, the changes in the anterior thigh muscle perfusion assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy following the re-warm-up exercises was not different from that of passive recovery (p > 0.05). The findings suggest that a brief inspiratory-loaded CM exercise regime appears to be an effective re-warm-up strategy that optimizes second-half repeated-sprint performance and core function of players in team sports.

Key words: Repeated-sprint ability, high-intensity intermittent exercise, core stability, inspiratory muscle, fatigability

           Key Points
  • IM and CM functions of team-sport players were declined after the first half of a simulated team-sport IEP. Passive recovery during the subsequent 15-min half-time break did not restore the declined muscle functions, and this was associated with the debilitated sprint performance during the initial stage of second half.
  • A re-warm-up protocol composed of four running-specific inspiratory-loaded CM exercises carried out in the players after passive recovery for 11 mins during the half-time break could accelerate the restoration of their IM and CM functions, and retain their sprint performance in the second half.
  • The brief inspiratory-loaded CM exercise regime, which could be accomplished within a few minutes in a small space, is a potential alternative to current re-warm-up strategies to optimize the second-half performance in team sport.
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