Effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on hemodynamics and recovery of muscle strength following resistance exercise
American Physiological Society
School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Cold water immersion (CWI) and active recovery (ACT) are frequently used as postexercise recovery strategies. However, the physiological effects of CWI and ACT after resistance exercise are not well characterized. We examined the effects of CWI and ACT on cardiac output (Q̇), muscle oxygenation (SmO2), blood volume (tHb), muscle temperature (Tmuscle), and isometric strength after resistance exercise. On separate days, 10 men performed resistance exercise, followed by 10 min CWI at 10°C or 10 min ACT (low-intensity cycling). Q̇ (7.9 ± 2.7 l) and Tmuscle (2.2 ± 0.8°C) increased, whereas SmO2 (−21.5 ± 8.8%) and tHb (−10.1 ± 7.7 μM) decreased after exercise (P < 0.05). During CWI, Q̇ (−1.1 ± 0.7 l) and Tmuscle (−6.6 ± 5.3°C) decreased, while tHb (121 ± 77 μM) increased (P < 0.05). In the hour after CWI, Q̇ and Tmuscle remained low, while tHb also decreased (P < 0.05). By contrast, during ACT, Q̇ (3.9 ± 2.3 l), Tmuscle (2.2 ± 0.5°C), SmO2 (17.1 ± 5.7%), and tHb (91 ± 66 μM) all increased (P < 0.05). In the hour after ACT, Tmuscle, and tHb remained high (P < 0.05). Peak isometric strength during 10-s maximum voluntary contractions (MVCs) did not change significantly after CWI, whereas it decreased after ACT (−30 to −45 Nm; P < 0.05). Muscle deoxygenation time during MVCs increased after ACT (P < 0.05), but not after CWI. Muscle reoxygenation time after MVCs tended to increase after CWI (P = 0.052). These findings suggest first that hemodynamics and muscle temperature after resistance exercise are dependent on ambient temperature and metabolic demands with skeletal muscle, and second, that recovery of strength after resistance exercise is independent of changes in hemodynamics and muscle temperature.