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Medicina dello Sport 2017 September;70(3):318-27

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.02898-8


language: English, Italian

Effects of respiratory muscle training on exercise performance in tennis players

Chung-Yen WU 1, 2, Ting-Ya YANG 2, Pei-Yi LO 1, 2, 3, Lan-Yuen GUO 1, 4, 5

1 Department of Sports Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 2 Department of Respiratory Therapy, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 3 Section of Respiratory Care, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan; 4 Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 5 P.h.D. Program in Biomedical Engineering, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan


BACKGROUND: Respiratory muscle training has been a newly developed and popular topic of exercise training. It is suggested that respiratory muscle training (RMT) could improve strength of respiratory muscles by emphasizing trainings on specific muscles. In addition, the effects of respiratory muscle training might increase sport performance in athletes. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of six-week respiratory muscle training on functional sport performance in division II, university tennis players.
METHODS: The studies had ten healthy university tennis players of division II, whose ages were 18~25 years old. They were randomly divided into two groups: five athletes received RMT and the other five received placebo training. Respiratory muscle training was conducted for six weeks by using the device to train inspiratory resistive loading. We compared the different values of respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary function before and after RMT. The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used for data analysis.
RESULTS: The values of maximal inspiratory pressure in the RMT group showed significant changes (P<0.05). In addition, the measurements of diaphragmatic thickness in the RMT group were significantly thicker than the values before training (P<0.05). Furthermore, there were no significant changes in the values of maximal expiratory pressure, physical performance and pulmonary function in this study.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences in maximal inspiratory pressure and diaphragmatic thickness were observed after six weeks of respiratory muscle training; however, it was hard to evaluate the effects of RMT on improving sport performance.

KEY WORDS: Breathing exercises - Diaphragm - Athletic performance - Respiratory function tests - Maximal respiratory pressures

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