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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Jun 25

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11044-2

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Effects of acute cooling on cycling anaerobic exercise performance and neuromuscular activity: a randomized crossover study

Suk Won KIM 1, Chansol HURR 2

1 Motion Analysis Laboratory, Department of Physical Education, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea; 2 Integrative Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Physical Education, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do South Korea


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BACKGROUND: While cryotherapy is known for its favorable long-term recovery effects on muscle-damaging eccentric and plyometric exercises, studies showed that cryotherapy when used as an acute recovery mode (same day) had a negligible or negative effect on high-intensity and explosive exercises. However, there is lack of evidence regarding the mechanisms underlying the detrimental effect of acute cooling on the anaerobic performance. We hypothesized that acute cooling for the lower body would reduce anaerobic power output during a subsequent WAnT, which is at least in part due to decreased neuromuscular firing rate as indexed by mean frequency.
METHODS: We performed a randomized crossover design experiment. 11 young healthy males completed two consecutive 30-sec Wingate anaerobic tests (WAnT 1 and 2). Subjects rested for 10 min between the WAnT 1 and the WAnT 2. Neuromuscular activity on the rectus femoris of both legs was recorded using wireless electromyography (EMG) during WAnT.
RESULTS: Anaerobic power during the first 5 sec of WAnT 2 was decreased in the cooling suit recovery group relative to WAnT 1. MNF in WAnT 2 was also lower in a cooled leg during WAnT 2 during the first 10 sec when compared with WAnT 1.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute cooling application blunts the initial phase of anaerobic power output during a subsequent WAnT, which could be explained by a concomitant reduction in neuromuscular firing rate. Given that cryotherapy is widely utilized in a variety of sports, athletes and trainers should pay close attention to the appropriate application of cryotherapy.


KEY WORDS: Cryotherapy; Exercise performance; Recovery; Anaerobic exercise

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