Skip to main content

Table 3 Statements posed to EFP-Group regarding eccentric exercise and corresponding consensus/no consensus achieved

From: Exercise-Based Strategies to Prevent Muscle Injury in Male Elite Footballers: An Expert-Led Delphi Survey of 21 Practitioners Belonging to 18 Teams from the Big-5 European Leagues

Statement (based on content analysis from each round) Number of respondents in the final agreement (%) Number of respondents who did not agree (%) Round introduced Round where consensus was achieved Specific comments from the EFP-Group
Concerning starters
 During weeks with 6 full days recovery between matches that the most appropriate day to perform a specific session of eccentric exercises is on the Matchday + 3 (i.e. M − 4) 14 (78) 1 (6) 2nd 3rd 3 (17%) stated that it depends (neither agreeing, nor disagreeing)
 During weeks with 5 full days between matches it is possible to perform eccentric exercise on the M + 3 (M − 3) 15 (83) 1 (6) 2nd 3rd 2 (11%) neither agreed nor disagreed, specifying that it depends, for example on the coaches plan for the session
 Low-intensity eccentric exercises can be performed during periods with ≤ 4 days recovery 13 (71) 4 (24) 2nd 3rd While consensus was reached, it was also clear from the responses that players should be accustomed to doing this
Additionally, it was highlighted that ‘activation’ type exercises may be preferred here
Those stating that they did not agree specified that;
If eccentric is being performed it should be with high loads
Use exercises that are less damaging
1 (6%) respondent was not familiar with the term, ‘low-intensity eccentric exercise’ and therefore was not included in analysis
 Would you agree that it is possible to vary the timing of eccentric session between both before AND after training? 15 (83) 3 (17) 2nd 4th However, it depends on the planned and actual intensity, volume and contents of the field session. It was specified that the timing of eccentric exercise according should be adjusted according to what is planned in the field session
Also depends on the target of the session e.g. to improve strength
 It is possible to include eccentric exercise around the same session as the main sprinting and HSR exercise 12 (67) 6 (33) 2nd 4th While 12 experts (67%) agreed that it is possible, however, it was highly contextual depending on (1) the amount of sprinting and HSR performed/to be performed and on the planned session on the following day. It was stated by 1 respondent that a double session may be a solution for this
What are the number of eccentric exercises that should be included in any given session? No consensus 2nd No consensus after 4 rounds  
 What is the optimal number of sets and repetitions for (a) low-intensity eccentric exercise and (b) high-intensity eccentric exercise? No consensus 2nd No consensus after 4 rounds The variability of sets and reps from each respondent was very high (see Appendix 1 for individual responses). Overall, the reason given was that this is too contextual and depends on the specific exercises, when they are being performed and who is performing them