The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published online (for a limited time ahead of print) a study that investigated whether the addition of IMT (Inspiratory Muscle Training) to an existing programme of pre-season soccer training would augment performance indices such as exercise tolerance and sports specific performance beyond the use of pre-season training alone.
The study concluded that there may be benefit for soccer players to incorporate IMT to their pre-season training, but the effect is not conclusive.
Guy, Joshua H.; Edwards, Andrew M. PhD; Deakin, Glen B. PhD
This study investigated whether the addition of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) to an existing programme of pre-season soccer training would augment performance indices such as exercise tolerance and sports-specific performance beyond the use of pre-season training alone.
Thirty one adult males were randomised across three groups: experimental (EXP: n=12), placebo (PLA: n=9), and control (CON: n=10). EXP and PLA completed a 6-week pre-season programme (two x weekly sessions) in addition to concurrent IMT with either a IM training load (EXP) or negligible (PLA) inspiratory resistance. CON did not use an IMT device or undertake soccer training.
All participants performed the following tests before and after the 6-week period: Standard spirometry; maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (MIP); multi stage fitness test (MSFT) and a soccer specific fitness test (SSFT).
Following 6-weeks training, EXP significantly improved: MIP (P=0.002); MSFT distance covered (P=0.02); and post SSFT blood lactate (BLa) (P=0.04). No other outcomes from the SSFT were changed. Pre to post training performance outcomes for PLA and CON were unchanged. These findings suggest the addition of IMT to pre-season soccer training improved exercise tolerance (MSFT distance covered) but had little effect on soccer specific fitness indices beyond a slightly reduced post-training SSFT BLa.
In conclusion, there may be benefit for soccer players to incorporate IMT to their pre-season training but the effect is not conclusive. It is likely that a greater pre-season training stimulus would be particularly meaningful for this population if fitness gains are a priority and also evoke a stronger IMT response.
(C) 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association
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