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Investigating factors which may influence recovery and preparation in professional rugby union. / Marc Rhys Jones
Swansea University Author: Marc Rhys Jones
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To enhance understanding of recovery and preparation in rugby union, the aim of this thesis was to examine the impact of competition on key parameters and investigate factors which may influence the recovery process from competition and training. The findings of study one demonstrate that movement p...
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To enhance understanding of recovery and preparation in rugby union, the aim of this thesis was to examine the impact of competition on key parameters and investigate factors which may influence the recovery process from competition and training. The findings of study one demonstrate that movement patterns and thus the physiological demands of match-play vary considerably between different positional groups. Additionally, study two demonstrates that the movement characteristics which determine the extent of muscle damage post-match are position specific, and that movement characteristics may be used to prospectively tailor individual recovery and manage subsequent training. Recovery patterns may also be influenced by factors not associated with match-play such as sleep, which has important physiological and psychological restorative effects. The findings of study three suggest that sleep patterns may vary considerably within a squad with many players presenting evidence of sleep disruption, particularly post-match which may be detrimental to recovery. Recovery following exercise may also be modulated by the application of post-exercise recovery strategies such as cold water immersion. However, study four demonstrates that cold water immersion may impede adaptation to strength training in rugby union players. When no recovery intervention was administered during a five week pre-season period, isometric mid-thigh pull peak force and relative peak force significantly increased by 5.4 +/- 4.7 and 5.8 +/- 5.4% respectively. However when individuals were immersed in cold water post-training there were no significant changes in strength during the training period. These findings may have great implications for strength training, particularly during periods of physical development. The findings of the thesis have furthered understanding of the characteristics of performance and identified several factors which influence recovery from training and competition. This in turn may be used to inform best practice procedures in attempt to 'optimise' preparation and recovery in rugby union.
Faculty of Science and Engineering