Muscle damage and performance after single and multiple simulated matches in university elite female soccer players

Tai Ying Chou, Kazunori Nosaka, Trevor C. Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to compare changes in muscle damage and performance parameters after playing single versus multiple soccer matches to examine fixture congestion effects on performance. Twelve elite female university soccer players performed single, three and six consecutive 90-min bouts of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) with ≥12-weeks between conditions in a pseudo-randomized order. Heart rate, blood lactate, rating of perceived exertion and covering distance in each LIST were examined. Changes in several types of muscle damage (e.g., maximal voluntary isometric torque of the knee extensors: MVC-KE) and performance measures (e.g., Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1: YYIR1) were taken before each LIST, 1 h, and 1–5 d after the last LIST. The total distance covered during the LIST was shorter (p < 0.05) in the 2nd–3rd, or 2nd–6th LISTs when compared with the 1st LIST. Changes (p < 0.05) in all measures were observed after the LIST, and the greatest changes were observed after the six than after the three LISTs followed by one LIST (e.g., largest changes in MVC-KE: −26 > −20 > −14%; YYIR1: −31 > −26 > −11%). Many of the variables did not recover to the baseline for 5 d after six LISTs. These suggest that fixture congestion induces greater muscle damage and performance decline than a single match.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4134
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 2


  • Countermovement jump
  • Football
  • Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test
  • Maximal isometric contraction strength
  • Muscle soreness
  • Soccer
  • Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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