The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of warm-up and cool-down exercise on delayed onsetof muscle soreness at the distal and central parts of rectus femoris following leg resistance exercise. Thirty-sixvolunteers (21 women, 15 men) were randomly assigned to the warm-up (20 min ergometer cycling prior to theresistance exercise), cool-down (20 min cycling after the resistance exercise), or control group performing resistanceexercise only. The resistance exercise consisted of front lunges (10x5 repetitions/sets) with external loading of 40%(women) and 50% (men) of body mass. Primary outcomes were pressure pain threshold along rectus femoris andmaximal isometric knee extension force. Data were recorded before the resistance exercise and on the two consecutivedays. Pressure pain threshold at the central muscle belly was significantly reduced for the control group on both day 2and 3 (p≤0.003) but not for the warm-up group (p≥0.21). For the cool-down group, pressure pain threshold at thecentral muscle belly was significantly reduced on day 2 (p≤0.005) and was also lower compared to the warm-up group(p=0.025). Force was significantly reduced on day 2 and 3 for all groups (p<0.001). This study indicates that aerobicwarm-up exercise performed prior to resistance exercise may prevent muscle soreness at the central but not distalmuscle regions, but it does not prevent loss of muscle force.
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