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. Tong, Julien S. Baker, Haifeng Zhang, Zhaowei Kong, Jinlei Nie

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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 team sport-specific sprint performance in 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 were not restored satisfactorily (-6.4%, -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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-489
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sep 2019



  • Repeated-sprint ability
  • High-intensity intermittent exercise
  • Core stability
  • Inspiratory muscle
  • Fatigability

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