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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 August;60(8):1065-71

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10580-2


lingua: Inglese

Acute high-intensity interval training improves motor skill acquisition

Bradley J. KENDALL 1, 2 , Nicholas J. SIEKIRK 2, 3, Qin LAI 2

1 Department of Kinesiology, Taylor University, Upland, CA, USA; 2 Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA; 3 Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, USA

BACKGROUND: It is well established that acute exercise improves cognitive function. However, less is known about the effects of exercise on motor skill acquisition. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of acute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on motor skill acquisition.
METHODS: Sixty individuals (27 males, 33 females) between 18 and 40 years of age participated in two testing sessions separated by one week. During visit 1, participants performed one block of a continuous tracking, force control task to establish baseline ability. Participants were then randomized to either an aerobic-only HIIT group (HIIT-A), an aerobic/resistance HIIT group (HIIT-AR), or a resting control group. Both exercise groups performed a 20-minute, digital versatile disc (DVD)-delivered HIIT exercise protocol during visit 2. Following exercise or rest, all participants performed five blocks of the same force control task to assess skill acquisition.
RESULTS: On visit 2, the HIIT-A group had a significantly lower total performance error (E) compared to the control group (P<0.05). Both exercise groups (HIIT-A and HIIT-AR) had a significantly lower peak amplitude error (PE) following exercise compared to the control group (P<0.05). No significant group differences were observed for temporal error (TE). Additionally, no significant differences were observed between the exercise groups (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that acute HIIT-A improves motor skill acquisition compared to rest. Furthermore, improvements in acquisition appeared to be a result of improved spatial accuracy. Therefore, performing HIIT-A prior to practicing a motor task may help reduce total error during the motor skill acquisition phase.

KEY WORDS: Exercise; High-Intensity Interval Training; Motor skills

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