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Medicina dello Sport 2010 June;63(2):145-52


language: English, Italian

Ultra short-term heart rate recovery in athletes of different sports

Ostojic S. M. 1, Calleja-Gonzalez J. 2, Jakovljevic D. G. 3, Vucetic V. 4, Ahumada F. 5

1 Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Department, Faculty of Sport and Tourism, Novi Sad, Metropolitan University, Serbia 2 Laboratory of Analysis of Sport Performance, Physical Activity Department, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Spain 3 Research Centre for Health Studies, Faculty for Society and Health, Buckinghamshire New University, Buckinghamshire, UK; 4 Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; 5 Sobre Entrenamiento Group, Cordoba, Argentina


Aim. The main aim of this study was to assess ultra short-term heart rate recovery (HRR) in athletes participating in different types of sport activities: 1) continuous (e.g. distance running and cycling), and 2) intermittent sports (e.g. basketball, soccer and handball).
Methods. Forty-six male athletes were recruited for the study. Depending on the sport they participated, athletes were allocated into continuous sports group (CNT, n = 20) or intermittent sports group (INT, n = 19). The two groups were matched for age and physical fitness level. Athletes performed maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test on a treadmill using the ramp protocol. Immediately upon exercise cessation, subjects undertook supine position with continuous measurement of heart rate during the first minute of recovery. Data were analyzed in 10-sec intervals and were compared between the CNT and INT group.
Results. Significant difference in the HRR between the CNT and INT group was identified only at 10 and 20 seconds of recovery period (p < 0.05). The INT group demonstrated significantly lower heart rate than CNT group (p < 0.05). These results suggest that athletes engaged in intermittent sports demonstrate faster decrease in the heart rate during the first twenty seconds after maximal exercise than their counterparts trained for continuous performance.
Conclusion. These results seem to indicate that sports activity and training along with autonomic modulation might have played a role in the ultra short-term cardiovascular responses to all-out exercise.

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