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Muscle Damage Response in Female Collegiate Athletes After Repeated Sprint Activity

Keane, Karen M.; Salicki, Rebecca; Goodall, Stuart; Thomas, Kevin; Howatson, Glyn

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 10 - p 2802–2807
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000961
Original Research

Keane, KM, Salicki, R, Goodall, S, Thomas, K, and Howatson, G. Muscle damage response in female collegiate athletes after repeated sprint activity. J Strength Cond Res 29(10): 2802–2807, 2015—Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is a well-investigated area, however there is a paucity of data surrounding the damage response in females. The aim of this study was to examine the damage responses from a sport-specific bout of repeated sprints in female athletes. Eleven well-trained females (mean ± SD; age: 22 ± 3 years; height: 166.6 ± 5.7 cm; mass: 62.7 ± 4.5 kg) in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle completed a repeated sprint protocol designed to induce EIMD (15 × 30 m sprints). Creatine kinase, countermovement jump height, knee extensor maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) force, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), 30-m sprint time, and limb girth were recorded before, after, 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercise. Creatine kinase was elevated at 24, 48, and 72 hours (p ≤ 0.05), peaking at 24 hours (+418%) and returning toward baseline at 72 hours. Countermovement jump height was reduced immediately after, 24, and 48 hours (p ≤ 0.05). Sprint performance was also negatively affected immediately after, 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercise. Muscle soreness peaked at 48 hours (p < 0.01) and remained significantly elevated at 72 hours after exercise (p < 0.01). Limb girth and MVIC did not alter over time. This study provides new information on the EIMD response in trained females after a sport-specific bout of repeated sprints. Importantly, this damage response has the potential to negatively affect performance for several days after exercise.

1Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom; and

2Water Research Group, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Address correspondence to Glyn Howatson,

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.