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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2022 August;62(8):1045-52

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12321-7

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Post-exercise upside-down recovery does accelerate the heart rate recovery but does not improve subsequent sprint performance

Alessandro GENTILIN 1, Enrico TAM 1, Cantor TARPERI 1, 2 , Fabio BECCARELLO 1, Antonio CEVESE 1, Federico SCHENA 1

1 Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine, and Movement Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy



BACKGROUND: Many recreational cyclists believe that lying upside-down after intense physical exertion speeds up physical recovery, enhancing subsequent exercise performance. However, the effectiveness of this technique has not yet been investigated.
METHODS: Twenty-five active cyclists (10 females/15 males; age 23.3±3.8 years old) performed a supramaximal 45-sec Wingate Test before and after a 7-minute recovery period at +45° or -20° of inclination, randomly, in a two-day cross-over protocol. The percentage decline of post- compared to prerecovery Wingate performance was used to assess the recovery effectiveness. Kinetics of lactate, heart rate (HR), and mean blood pressure (MBP) during recovery were considered as physiological indices of recovery.
RESULTS: Seven subjects (5 males) did not complete the +45° protocol due to presyncopal symptoms. The upside-down compared to the standing recovery did not change the subsequent Wingate performance, despite faster HR decline and cyclists’ perception of better recovery. The upside-down recovery did not change the kinetics of lactate clearance but prevented the MBP fall.
CONCLUSIONS: Among subjects who fully completed the protocol, our data reveal the ineffectiveness of the upside-down recovery to enhance subsequent exercise performance, despite the faster HR decline and personal feeling of greater recovery may suggest that assumption. Such a better psychophysical feeling when upside-down compared to standing recovery may be associated with attenuation of postexercise hypotension symptoms. This data suggest being cautious in basing the assessment of the athlete’s recovery exclusively on the postexercise kinetics of the HR.


KEY WORDS: Athletes; Posture; Athletic performance

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