ArticlePDF Available

Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? A Narrative Review of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance, Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

It is widely believed that an active cool-down is more effective for promoting post-exercise recovery than a passive cool-down involving no activity. However, research on this topic has never been synthesized and it therefore remains largely unknown whether this belief is correct. This review compares the effects of various types of active cool-downs with passive cool-downs on sports performance, injuries, long-term adaptive responses, and psychophysiological markers of post-exercise recovery. An active cool-down is largely ineffective with respect to enhancing same-day and next-day(s) sports performance, but some beneficial effects on next-day(s) performance have been reported. Active cool-downs do not appear to prevent injuries, and preliminary evidence suggests that performing an active cool-down on a regular basis does not attenuate the long-term adaptive response. Active cool-downs accelerate recovery of lactate in blood, but not necessarily in muscle tissue. Performing active cool-downs may partially prevent immune system depression and promote faster recovery of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. However, it is unknown whether this reduces the likelihood of post-exercise illnesses, syncope, and cardiovascular complications. Most evidence indicates that active cool-downs do not significantly reduce muscle soreness, or improve the recovery of indirect markers of muscle damage, neuromuscular contractile properties, musculotendinous stiffness, range of motion, systemic hormonal concentrations, or measures of psychological recovery. It can also interfere with muscle glycogen resynthesis. In summary, based on the empirical evidence currently available, active cool-downs are largely ineffective for improving most psychophysiological markers of post-exercise recovery, but may nevertheless offer some benefits compared with a passive cool-down.
Content may be subject to copyright.
REVIEW ARTICLE
Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? A Narrative Review
of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance,
Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response
Bas Van Hooren
1,2
Jonathan M. Peake
3,4
Published online: 16 April 2018
ÓThe Author(s) 2018
Abstract It is widely believed that an active cool-down is
more effective for promoting post-exercise recovery than a
passive cool-down involving no activity. However,
research on this topic has never been synthesized and it
therefore remains largely unknown whether this belief is
correct. This review compares the effects of various types
of active cool-downs with passive cool-downs on sports
performance, injuries, long-term adaptive responses, and
psychophysiological markers of post-exercise recovery. An
active cool-down is largely ineffective with respect to
enhancing same-day and next-day(s) sports performance,
but some beneficial effects on next-day(s) performance
have been reported. Active cool-downs do not appear to
prevent injuries, and preliminary evidence suggests that
performing an active cool-down on a regular basis does not
attenuate the long-term adaptive response. Active cool-
downs accelerate recovery of lactate in blood, but not
necessarily in muscle tissue. Performing active cool-downs
may partially prevent immune system depression and
promote faster recovery of the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems. However, it is unknown whether this
reduces the likelihood of post-exercise illnesses, syncope,
and cardiovascular complications. Most evidence indicates
that active cool-downs do not significantly reduce muscle
soreness, or improve the recovery of indirect markers of
muscle damage, neuromuscular contractile properties,
musculotendinous stiffness, range of motion, systemic
hormonal concentrations, or measures of psychological
recovery. It can also interfere with muscle glycogen
resynthesis. In summary, based on the empirical evidence
currently available, active cool-downs are largely ineffec-
tive for improving most psychophysiological markers of
post-exercise recovery, but may nevertheless offer some
benefits compared with a passive cool-down.
Key Points
Many individuals regularly perform 5–15 min of
low- to moderate-intensity exercises within
approximately 1 h after their practice and
competition (i.e., active cool-downs) in an attempt to
facilitate recovery.
An active cool-down is largely ineffective at
improving sports performance later during the same
day when the time between successive training
sessions or competitions is [4 h. It is most likely
ineffective at improving sports performance during
the next day(s), but some beneficial effects have
been observed.
An active cool-down does likely not attenuate the
long-term adaptive response or prevent injuries.
&Bas Van Hooren
basvanhooren@hotmail.com;
b.vanhooren@maastrichtuniversity.nl
1
Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences, Maastricht
University Medical Centre?, NUTRIM School of Nutrition
and Translational Research in Metabolism,
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht, The Netherlands
2
Institute of Sport Studies, Fontys University of Applied
Sciences, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
3
School of Biomedical Sciences and Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of
Technology, Brisbane, Australia
4
Sport Performance Innovation and Knowledge Excellence,
Queensland Academy of Sport, Brisbane, Australia
123
Sports Med (2018) 48:1575–1595
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0916-2
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
1 Introduction
It is widely assumed that promoting physiological and
psychological recovery after exercise allows individuals to
perform better during subsequent training sessions or
competition, and lowers the risk of injuries. Various
recovery interventions are therefore used to facilitate
recovery after exercise. The best known and most widely
used post-exercise recovery intervention is (arguably) the
active cool-down, which is also known as an active
recovery or warm-down. Several surveys show that many
team sport players and athletes participating in individual
sports regularly perform 5–15 min of low- to moderate-
intensity exercises within approximately 1 h after their
practice and competition to facilitate recovery [18]. For
example, a recent survey among collegiate athletic trainers
in the USA found that 89% of the trainers recommended a
cool-down, with 53% of these trainers recommending
jogging as the preferred active cool-down method [1].
There is currently no formal definition of an active cool-
down; here, we define it as an activity that involves vol-
untary, low- to moderate-intensity exercise or movement
performed within 1 h after training and competition.
Examples of active cool-down interventions and their
suggested effects are shown in Fig. 1. The effects of
recovery interventions such as cold-water immersion
[9,10], compression garments [11,12], and cryotherapy
[13,14] have been reviewed extensively. By contrast, the
active cool-down has never been thoroughly reviewed. It
remains largely unknown whether an active cool-down
offers any benefits compared with a passive cool-down
(i.e., no cool-down), and thus whether it is an appropriate
or effective recovery intervention.
The primary aim of this review is to synthesize the
evidence as to whether an active cool-down enhances
sports performance more effectively than a passive cool-
down when performance is measured after approxi-
mately [4 h after the initial exercise. This review also
compares the physiological and psychological effects of an
active cool-down to a passive cool-down, and discusses the
effects of an active cool-down on injuries and the long-
term adaptive responses to exercise training. The value of
static stretching and foam rolling as cool-down interven-
tions is briefly discussed in separate sections because these
interventions are both frequently performed in combination
with an active cool-down.
2 Methods
There are various passive cool-down interventions such as
sitting rest, saunas, pneumatic leg compression, and elec-
trostimulation (see Table 1for an overview) [1523].
However, most non-elite athletes do not have access to a
sauna or equipment for the other interventions, and most
practitioners also lack the necessary knowledge about how
best to apply these interventions (partly because of a lack
of evidence-based guidelines). Even elite team sport
players do not always have access to these recovery
interventions when they play away games [24]. In the
current review, we have therefore only included studies
that have compared an active cool-down with a passive
cool-down that consists of sitting, lying, or standing
(without walking). Active cool-downs that combine exer-
cise with cold water immersion [25] are also excluded. We
have also restricted the review to studies that have inves-
tigated the effects of performing an active cool-down
within approximately 1 h after exercise, because findings
from a recent survey suggest that this most closely repli-
cates the cool-down procedure of many recreational and
professional athletes [7]. Studies that have applied an
active recovery for several days after exercise are only
discussed if they have (1) applied the active recovery
within 1 h after exercise (i.e., active cool-down) and (2)
evaluated recovery before applying the active recovery on
the next day. Finally, we primarily focus on how active
cool-downs influence performance and psychophysiologi-
cal variables during successive exercise sessions or com-
petitions [i.e., approximately [4 h after exercise, or
during the next day(s)]. This type of recovery has also been
referred to as ‘training recovery’ [26]. Studies that have
investigated the effects of active recovery between bouts of
exercise with relatively short rest periods (e.g., 20 min) are
excluded from the review. As such, the findings of this
review will be of primary interest to athletes and practi-
tioners who regularly use an active cool-down to facilitate
recovery between training sessions or competitions, but are
interested in what evidence exists that supports the use of
an active cool-down compared with a passive cool-down.
Relevant studies have been searched in the electronic
databases of Google Scholar and Pubmed using combina-
tions of keywords and Booleans that included (cool-down
OR active recovery OR warm-down) AND (sports perfor-
mance OR recover OR recovery OR physiological OR
physiology OR psychological OR psychology OR injury
OR injuries OR long-term adaptive response OR adapta-
tion). Forward citation and reference lists of relevant arti-
cles were examined, and databases with e-published ahead
of print articles from relevant journals were searched to
identify additional articles.
1576 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
3 Effects on Sports Performance
In principle, better psychophysiological recovery following
exercise may attenuate or prevent performance decre-
ments—or even enhance performance—during a subse-
quent training session or competition [27]. The following
sections discuss the effects of an active cool-down on
measures of physical performance such as vertical jump
height and sprint performance measured later during the
same day or during the next day(s).
3.1 Same-Day Performance
Elite athletes often train or compete more than once a day,
so recovery interventions between training sessions or
events may help to restore exercise performance. This
section only discusses studies that have investigated the
effects of an active cool-down after at least 4 h of rest
between training sessions or competitions to reflect the
effects of an active cool-down on ‘training recovery’ [26].
Relatively few studies have investigated the benefits of
active cool-downs on performance measured [4 h after
Fig. 1 Infographic of active cool-down interventions and their commonly proposed psychophysiological effects
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1577
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
exercise, and these studies generally found trivial (statis-
tically non-significant effects), and sometimes even small
(non-significant) detrimental effects of an active cool-down
on performance [15,2830] (Table 2). For example, Tes-
sitore et al. [28] compared a 20-min active cool-down
(consisting of either land-based or water-based aerobic
exercises and stretching) with a passive cool-down fol-
lowing a standardized soccer training in elite youth players.
After a 4-h rest period, the athletes performed several
anaerobic performance tests. Both active cool-down pro-
tocols had trivial to small (negative) non-significant effects
on anaerobic performance, such as 10-m sprint time and
vertical jump height. In a later study on futsal players,
similar cool-down interventions also had trivial to small
(negative) non-significant effects anaerobic sports perfor-
mance measured 4.5 h after a friendly match compared
with a passive cool-down [29]. Therefore, whereas active
recovery generally does benefit sports performance when
the time between successive performances is short
(10–20 min) [3135], the findings from the studies above
indicate overall that an active cool-down does not improve
sports performance later on the same day when time
between successive performances is [4 h and may even
have small detrimental effects. However, more research on
the effects of active cool-downs following others forms of
exercise is needed.
3.2 Next-Day(s) Performance
Conflicting findings have been reported with regard to the
effects of an active cool-down on next-day(s) performance,
with some studies reporting small to moderate magnitude
benefits of an active cool-down compared with a passive
cool-down, and others reporting trivial effects or small
decreases (Table 2)[25,30,3949]. Most studies,
however, report trivial effects, with some studies reporting
beneficial effects and only a few studies reporting harmful
effects. For example, a study on sport students found that
an aqua cycling active cool-down had small to trivial
effects on recovery of maximum voluntary isometric con-
traction (MVIC) force and muscular endurance at 24, 48, or
72 h post-exercise compared with a passive cool-down
[45]. In contrast, in a group of female netball players, a
15-min active cool-down consisting of low-intensity run-
ning resulted in a moderate magnitude decrease of 20-m
sprint time and a small decrease in vertical jump height
24 h after a simulated netball game compared with a pas-
sive cool-down [44]. Interestingly, a study on well-trained
long-distance runners found that muscle power (as mea-
sured during a leg press movement) was likely higher
1 day after downhill running in the group that performed a
water-based active cool-down compared with the group
that performed a passive cool-down, while whole-body
reaction time showed a small decrease [40]. Finally, a
study on professional soccer players found that an active
cool-down had a likely beneficial effect on countermove-
ment jump performance 24 h after a standardized training
session, while 20-m sprint and agility performance showed
small harmful and trivial effects, respectively [50]. Overall,
these conflicting findings may be related to the type of
cool-down performed, the exercise that precedes the cool-
down, the training experience of the individuals and the
individual preferences and believes. It should be noted that
all studies investigated high-intensity performances such as
jumping and sprinting and more research is required on
endurance performance.
Table 1 Overview of passive
cool-down/recovery
interventions
Sitting, standing, or lying rest Cold-water immersion
Sauna Hot-water immersion
Massage Contrast-water therapy
Pneumatic leg compression Cryotherapy
Peristaltic pulse dynamic compression Crycompression therapy
External counterpulsation therapy Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation
Compression garments Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Intermittent negative pressure Foam rolling
a
Vascular occlusion Static stretching
a
Local or whole-body vibration therapy Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
Ultrasound therapy Sustained heat treatment
Photo-/light-emitting diodes therapy
Passive recovery interventions are defined here as involving no or minimum voluntary/intentional exercise
or movement
a
These passive recovery interventions are frequently used in combination with active cool-downs
1578 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Table 2 The effects of active cool-downs on same-day and next-day performance
Study Participants (mean
age ±standard
deviation)
Fatiguing exercise Active cool-down
duration, modality,
and intensity
Interval
between end
cool-down
and
subsequent
performance
(h)
Outcome
measures
Results (%
difference; ±90% CIs
for between-group
comparison [when
available], qualitative
description of the
probability and effect
magnitude)*
Same day performance
Cortis et al. [15] 8 military men
(21.9 ±1.3 years)
Incremental
running test
16 min shallow
water-aerobic
exercises at 60%
HR
max
and 4 min
stretching
4.5 CMJ Pre-afternoon training:
0.0%, trivial
Post-afternoon training:
0.0%, trivial
BJ Pre-afternoon training:
-4.0%, small
Post-afternoon training:
-7.8%, small
VO
2
at
various
running
velocities
6 km/h: -5.1%, small
8 km/h: 4.7%, small
10 km/h: -3.1%, small
12 km/h: -5.6%, small
Tessitore et al.
[28]
12 young
professional male
soccer players
(18.1 ±1.2 years)
100 min
standardized
soccer training
16 min low-intensity
dry-aerobic
exercises and
4 min stretching or
16 min shallow
water exercises and
4 min stretching
4 SJ Dry: -1.2%, trivial
Water: 1.5%, trivial
CMJ Dry: -1.7%, small
Water: 2.9%, small
BJ Dry: 0.0%, trivial
Water: -4.2%, small
10-m sprint Dry: -3.7%, moderate
Water: 0.0%, trivial
Tessitore et al.
[29]
10 male futsal
players
(23 ±2 years)
1 h futsal game 16 min low-intensity
dry-aerobic
exercises and
4 min stretching or
16 min shallow
water exercises and
4 min stretching
4.5 CMJ Dry: -2.8%, small
Water: -4.6%, small
BJ Dry: -3.7%, small
Water: -1.7%, trivial
10-m sprint Dry: 0.0%, trivial
Water: -1.1%, trivial
Reader et al. [30] 8 male and 1 female
elite weightlifters
(26.5 ±4.8 years)
Olympic
weightlifting
exercises and
various
derivatives such
as back squat
and push press
15 min supervised
rowing ergometer
at 1 W/kg body
weight and stroke
frequency of \20/
min
4.25 CMJ Session 1–2: -
4.6; ±3.2%, likely
small
Session 3–4:
1.7; ±3.9%, unclear,
possibly trivial
Next day performance
Vanderthommen
et al. [36]
19 healthy men
(23.4 ±2.1 years)
3925 isometric
contractions of
the knee
extensors at 60
55 and 50% of
MVC
25 min pedaling on
stationary bicycle
at 60 rpm (approx.
50% HR
max
)
24 MVC 4.7; ±8.0%, unclear,
possibly small
Weber et al. [37] 40 untrained
females
(22.9 ±3.7 years)
Eccentric arm-
curls until
fatigue
8 min upper body
ergometry at
60 rpm
24 MVIC 1.5%, trivial
Peak torque
at 60
˚/s
-7.5%, small
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1579
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Table 2 continued
Study Participants (mean
age ±standard
deviation)
Fatiguing exercise Active cool-down
duration, modality,
and intensity
Interval
between end
cool-down
and
subsequent
performance
(h)
Outcome
measures
Results (%
difference; ±90% CIs
for between-group
comparison [when
available], qualitative
description of the
probability and effect
magnitude)*
Rey et al. [38] 31 professional
male soccer
players
(23.5 ±3.4 years)
45 min
standardized
soccer training
20 min low-intensity
exercises (12 min
running at 65%
maximum aerobic
velocity and 8 min
stretching)
24 CMJ 6.6; ±5.3%, unclear,
likely moderate
20-m sprint -0.6; ±3.5%, unclear,
possibly trivial
Balsom
agility test
-0.7; ±0.7%, likely
trivial
Lane and
Wenger [39]
10 physically active
men
(26.3 ±6.3 years)
18-min
intermittent
cycling protocol
15 min cycling at
30% VO
2max
24 Work
completed
during a
cycling
protocol
1.7%, trivial
Takahashi et al.
[40]
10 male long-
distance runners
(20 ±1 years)
3 sets of 5-min
downhill
treadmill
running at a
speed
corresponding to
their individual
best 5000 m
time
30 min of aqua
exercises (walking,
jogging, jumping)
24 Muscle
power of
leg
extensors
in leg
press
15; ±12%, unclear
likely moderate
Whole-body
reaction
time
-2.4%, trivial
Dawson et al.
[41]
17 Western
Australian
Football League
(WAFL) players
(24.2 ±2.9 years)
Football matches 15 min of pool
walking
14 6-s cycle
sprint peak
power
3.2; ±2.7%, likely
small
6-s cycle
sprint time
to peak
power
-2.7%, small
6-s cycle
sprint total
work
3%, small
CMJ 8.1; ±6.7%, unclear
likely moderate
King and
Duffield [42]
10 trained female
netball players
(19.5 ±1.5 years)
4915 min
intermittent-
sprint exercise
circuit
15 min low-intensity
exercise at 40% of
maximum aerobic
speed
24 5 CMJs in
20 s
Pre-exercise: -25%,
small
Post-exercise: -29%,
small
5 20-m
sprints
Pre-exercise: 62%,
moderate
Post exercise: -6.1%,
trivial
Wahl et al. [43] 20 male sport
students
(24.4 ±2.2 years)
300 9maximal
effort CMJs
30 min aqua biking
at 65-75 rpm
24, 48, and
72
MVIC 24 h: 4.0%
, small
48 h: 2.2%
, trivial
72 h: 3.1%
, small
Repetitions
with 30%
MVIC
24 h: 4.7%
, trivial
48 h: 14%
, small
72 h: 11%
, trivial
1580 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Table 2 continued
Study Participants (mean
age ±standard
deviation)
Fatiguing exercise Active cool-down
duration, modality,
and intensity
Interval
between end
cool-down
and
subsequent
performance
(h)
Outcome
measures
Results (%
difference; ±90% CIs
for between-group
comparison [when
available], qualitative
description of the
probability and effect
magnitude)*
Getto and
Golden [44]
23 (13 male) and 10
female) Division I
collegiate athletes
(age not reported)
Conditioning
session that
included
sprinting,
plyometrics and
change of
directions
2 sets of 30 s
forward walking
with variations on
walking on
underwater
treadmill at 1.0–1.5
mph
24–28 CMJ 0.2%, trivial
20-m sprint -18%, moderate
Marquet et al.
[45]
11 world-class elite
BMX riders (7
male, 4 female;
20.9 ±2.1 years)
High-intensity
interval training
and maximum
intensity
resistance
training
Pedaling at 70%
VO
2max
for
295 min
separated by 5 min
passive recovery
Next day, but
hours are
not
reported
Maximum
power
Pre-training: 0.2%,
trivial
Post-training: 1.7%,
trivial
Maximum
cadence
Pre-training: -2.1%,
trivial
Post-training:
-0.8; ±0.6%, most
likely trivial
Taipale et al.
[46]
18 physically active
men
(25.6 ±3.5 years)
Bilateral leg press
with 10 910
reps at 70% of
1RM
Bilateral leg press
with 10 910 at
30% 1RM with
5 min passive rest
between sets
18 CMJ 33%, moderate
MVIC 9.7%, trivial
Reilly and Rigby
[47]
14 male students
(soccer players;
20.9 ±1.5 years)
Soccer match 5 min jogging, 5 min
stretching, 5 min
leg ‘shake down’
by other player
24 and 48 Broad jump Significant improvement
by 9 cm in active cool-
down compared to
deterioration by 7 cm
in passive cool-down
at 24 h. Difference
remained significant at
48 h
Vertical
jump
Significant improvement
by 2.5 cm in active
cool-down compared
to deterioration by
1 cm in passive cool-
down at 24 h.
Difference remained
significant at 48 h
3 30-m
sprints
0.22 s (5%) slower in
passive cool-down
group at 24 h and 0.6 s
at 48 h
Sprint-
fatigue test
(7 30-m
sprints
with 20 s
rest)
At 48 h, mean
performance was not
significantly different
from baseline in active
cool-down group
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1581
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Table 2 continued
Study Participants (mean
age ±standard
deviation)
Fatiguing exercise Active cool-down
duration, modality,
and intensity
Interval
between end
cool-down
and
subsequent
performance
(h)
Outcome
measures
Results (%
difference; ±90% CIs
for between-group
comparison [when
available], qualitative
description of the
probability and effect
magnitude)*
Crowther et al.
[25]
34 recreationally
active males
(27 ±6 years)
3915 min
simulated team-
game circuit
14 min jogging at
35% of peak speed
obtained during
maximum sprints

24 and 48 Time on
repeated-
sprint test
24 h: 0.4; ±1.4%,
unclear, possibly
trivial
48 h: -0.9; ±1.8%,
possibly trivial
CMJ relative
peak
power
(best
jump)
24 h: -1.9; ±1.6%,
likely trivial
48 h: -0.6; ±1.4%,
very likely trivial
CMJ relative
peak
power
(average
of jumps)
24 h: -2.2; ±1.7%,
possibly trivial
48 h: -1.2; ±1.6%,
likely trivial
Reader et al. [30] 8 male and 1 female
elite weightlifters
(26.5 ±4.8 years)
Olympic
weightlifting
exercises and
various
derivatives such
as back squat
and push press
15 min supervised
rowing ergometer
at 1 W/kg body
weight and stroke
frequency of \20/
min
16 CMJ Session 2–3:
-0.32; ±4.4%, likely
trivial
Session 4-after:
0.92; ±3.5%, possibly
trivial
HR
max
maximum heart rate, CMJ countermovement jump, SJ squat jump, BJ bounce jump, MVIC maximum voluntary isometric contraction,
VO
2max
maximum oxygen uptake, RM repetition maximum
*Percentage differences were calculated by first computing a factor difference within the active and passive cool-down group by dividing the post
cool-down mean (e.g., [4 h same-day or next-day performance) by the post fatiguing exercise, but pre-cool-down mean. When no post
fatiguing exercise, but pre-cool-down mean was reported, the pre-fatiguing exercise mean was used to calculate the within group factor
difference. The factor of the active cool-down group was then divided by the factor difference of the passive cool-down group and converted to a
percentage effect, whereby negative and positive values reflect worse and better performance of the active cool-down group, respectively. When
an exact p-value or p\0.05 was reported, a statistical spreadsheet [48] was used to derive 90% confidence intervals of the percentage difference.
Standardizes differences were calculated by first computing a standardized difference within the active and passive cool-down group and then
subtracting the passive cool-down standardized difference from the active cool-down standardized difference. The standardized difference for
each group was calculated by subtracting the post fatiguing exercise, but pre-cool-down mean from the post cool-down mean divided by the pre-
cool-down pooled standard deviation from both groups. The standardized difference was corrected for small sample size bias (i.e., Hedges’s g
s
)
as outlined by Lakens [49]. When no post fatiguing exercise, but pre-cool-down mean was reported, the pre-fatiguing exercise mean and standard
deviation were used to calculate the standardized difference. Standardized differences were expressed qualitatively using the following
scale: \0.2, trivial; 0.2–0.6, small; 0.6–1.2, moderate; 1.2–2.0 large; [2.0, very large [50]. When an exact pvalue or p\0.05 was reported, the
probability that the (true) difference in performance was better (beneficial), similar (trivial) or worse (harmful) in relation to the smallest
worthwhile change (0.2 multiplied by the pooled between-subject SD for measures of team sports performance and indirect measures of solo
sports performance) was calculated using a statistical spreadsheet [48]. Quantitative probabilities of beneficial, similar or worse performance
were assessed and reported qualitatively using the following scale: 25–75%, possibly; 75–95%, likely; 95–99.5, very likely;[99.5%, most likely.
If the probability of benefit was [25%, but the probability of harm was [0.5%, the true differences were considered unclear (i.e., clinical
magnitude-based inference). In this case, the largest probability for a change was reported to give an indication of the most likely change [50].
When insufficient data were reported for any of these calculations, these data were requested from the corresponding authors by e-mail
Standardized differences are estimated based on the results reported in Fig. 3 in reference [43]

The passive cool-down group also performed 5 min of jogging prior to the passive cool-down
1582 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
4 Physiological Effects of an Active Cool-Down
An active cool-down is believed to have many physiolog-
ical benefits compared with a passive cool-down, such as a
faster recovery of heart rate, less muscle soreness, and
more rapid reduction of metabolic by-products [7]. The
evidence for these supposed physiological benefits is
reviewed in the following sections.
4.1 Removal of Metabolic By-Products
High-intensity exercise can lead to an accumulation of
metabolic by-products in muscle such as lactate, which has
traditionally been associated with fatigue [51]. As a result,
the rate at which the lactate concentration is reduced in
blood—and to a lesser extent, muscle tissue—has fre-
quently been used as an objective indicator of recovery
from exercise. A large body of research has shown that a
variety of low- to moderate-intensity active cool-down
protocols are more effective than a passive cool-down for
removing lactate from blood [5269] and muscle tissue
[58,64]. However, there are some conflicting findings, with
some studies reporting no significant difference—and
sometimes even a slower removal of lactate in blood
[44,70] or muscle [66,68]—as a result of an active cool-
down. Regardless, the functional benefit of faster lactate
removal is debatable. For example, several studies found
no significant difference between an active cool-down and
a passive cool-down in the blood lactate concentration
measured more than 20 min after exercise [45,67]. Blood
lactate returns to resting levels after high-intensity exercise
within approximately 20–120 min—even without any post-
exercise activity [55,60,71]. Even elite athletes do not
usually perform another training session within 90 min
after the preceding session; faster removal of lactate by an
active cool-down may therefore be largely irrelevant [72].
A decrease in blood lactate concentration may also not be
an appropriate indicator of recovery following exercise
[51,72]. Among those studies that have reported a faster
removal of blood lactate following an active cool-down,
subsequent exercise performance was not always improved
[67,72].
Although it has traditionally been assumed that lactic
acid production results in metabolic acidosis, it has been
argued that lactate production coincides with cellular aci-
dosis, but is not a direct cause of and even retards meta-
bolic acidosis [73]. It is therefore important to consider the
potential differential effects of an active cool-down on
blood or muscle lactate removal and metabolic acidosis.
An active cool-down results in a faster return of blood
plasma pH and intramuscular pH to resting levels [64,74].
This effect may preserve neuromuscular function by
reducing the effects of exercise-induced acidosis, which
affects the functioning of glycolytic enzymes such as
phosphorylase and phosphofructokinase. However, one
study investigated the effects of an active and passive cool-
down on pH levels up to 16 min after exercise [74],
whereas the other study investigated pH levels until 80 min
after exercise [64]. This latter study found no significant
effect of an active cool-down on blood pH levels 80 min
after exercise. The relevance of these findings for improved
performance during a training session or competition later
on the same day (i.e., [4 h) or the next day(s) is therefore
questionable.
In summary, compared with a passive cool-down, an
active cool-down generally leads to a faster removal of
blood lactate when the intensity of the exercise is low to
moderate. However, the practical relevance of this effect is
questionable. Lactate is not necessarily removed more
rapidly from muscle tissue with an active cool-down.
Finally, an active cool-down leads to a faster recovery of
pH to resting levels.
4.2 Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
An active cool-down increases the blood flow to muscles
and skin [58,75] (see Sect. 4.8). This increase in blood
flow may reduce the accumulation of metabolic by-prod-
ucts and factors associated with muscle soreness (e.g.,
cyclo-oxygenase and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic
factor [76]) and accelerate muscle repair and remodeling.
Several studies have investigated whether an active cool-
down does indeed attenuate delayed-onset muscle soreness.
It should be noted, though, that some studies
[40,45,48,77,78] used exercise protocols that induce
severe delayed-onset muscle soreness, but are seldom used
in everyday athletic training. Therefore, the findings of
these studies do not necessarily apply to ‘normal’ training
sessions that induce less delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Most studies among both recreationally active individ-
uals and professional athletes have found no significant
effect of an active cool-down on delayed-onset muscle
soreness or tenderness at different times following exercise
(i.e., ranging from immediately after exercise up to 96 h
after exercise) compared with a passive cool-down
[15,25,29,40,41,45,46,48,49,7780]. For example,
Law and Herbert [77] compared the effects of an active
cool-down consisting of uphill walking versus a passive
cool-down on delayed-onset muscle soreness in healthy
adults following backwards downhill walking on an incline
treadmill (to induce muscle damage). The active cool-
down did not significantly reduce delayed-onset muscle
soreness or tenderness at 10 min, 24, 48 or 72 h following
exercise. Interestingly, a study on netball players found that
an active cool-down consisting of low-intensity running
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1583
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
after a simulated netball match actually resulted in greater
muscle soreness immediately after the active cool-down
compared with a passive cool-down, but there was no
significant difference 24 h after the match [44]. The run-
ning cool-down itself may have caused extra muscle
damage, resulting in the higher rating of muscle soreness
immediately after the cool-down. Higher impact weight-
bearing cool-down activities such as running may therefore
exacerbate delayed-onset muscle soreness immediately
after exercise, but more research is required to substantiate
this notion.
In contrast with the studies above, another study
involving young professional soccer players reported that
the mean subjective rating of muscle soreness was signif-
icantly lower 4–5 h after an active cool-down consisting of
low-intensity exercises such as jogging compared with a
passive cool-down [28]. Interestingly, there was no sig-
nificant difference in muscle soreness compared with a
passive cool-down when these same exercises were per-
formed in water, suggesting that any hydrostatic effects of
water immersion did not reduce muscle soreness. Simi-
larly, a study on world-class BMX riders found that an
active cool-down consisting of 2 95 min of cycling at
70% of the maximum aerobic power reduced muscle
soreness during the next day when compared with a passive
cool-down [47]. It could be argued that these conflicting
findings are related to differences in the physical fitness of
the individuals. For example, the netball players were not
as highly trained as the soccer players and BMX riders. For
non-elite athletes, an active cool-down therefore generally
has no effect on delayed-onset muscle soreness, whereas it
may have a beneficial effect for better trained individuals.
However, other studies among well-trained individuals
have also reported no beneficial effects of active cool-down
on delayed-onset muscle soreness [29,41,80], while a
study among student soccer players reported beneficial
effects of an active cool-down combined with stretching
and a ‘leg shake down’ on muscle soreness [42]. These
findings suggest that other factors such as the intensity and
duration of the exercise and cool-down, and the timing of
soreness assessment may also influence the effectiveness.
In summary, these findings indicate that an active cool-
down is generally not effective for reducing delayed-onset
muscle soreness following exercise.
4.3 Indirect Markers of Muscle Damage
The perception of muscle soreness does not necessary
reflect actual muscle damage [81,82]. Therefore, even
though an active cool-down is generally not effective for
reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness, it may have
beneficial effects on other markers of muscle damage.
Studies that have investigated the effects of an active
cool-down on indirect markers of muscle damage from
immediately after exercise up to 84 h after exercise have
reported conflicting findings. Two studies observed sig-
nificantly faster recovery of these markers as a result of an
active cool-down [70,83], whereas three other studies
found no significant difference [40,45,84]. For example,
Gill et al. [83] reported a significantly faster recovery of
creatine kinase activity in interstitial fluid in elite rugby
players between 1 and 4 days after a rugby match com-
bined with a cycling-based active cool-down compared
with a passive cool-down. By contrast, a study comparing
an aqua-cycling active cool-down and a passive cool-down
in sport students found no significant difference in serum
creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activity, or
myoglobin concentrations at 4, 24, 48, or 72 h after exer-
cise [45]. These conflicting findings may be related to
differences in the severity of muscle damage induced by
exercise, the individual markers of muscle damage, and the
type of cool-down protocol. It should be noted that fre-
quently used indirect markers of muscle damage (e.g.,
creatine kinase activity) may not accurately reflect actual
muscle damage [8588]. Malm et al. [85] suggested that
serum creatine kinase activity is more related to muscle
adaptation than to muscle damage. Therefore, it is debat-
able whether a faster recovery of these indirect markers
accurately reflects enhanced recovery.
Measures of strength and power are also frequently used
as indirect markers of muscle damage. A study on
untrained females found no significant effect of an active
cool-down consisting of upper body ergometry on the
recovery of the MVIC and peak torque 24 h after eccentric
exercise of the elbow flexors [48]. Similar results were
found in other studies on sport science students [45],
physically active men [43], and healthy men [49]. How-
ever, most studies usually reported a slightly (non-signifi-
cant) better recovery compared with the passive cool-down
group (Table 2).
In summary, there are conflicting findings with regard to
the effects of an active cool-down on indirect markers of
muscle damage, with most studies reporting no significant
beneficial effect of an active cool-down. Moreover, the
relation of some of these markers with actual muscle
damage is questionable—that is, a faster recovery of these
markers does not necessarily correspond to a faster
reduction in actual muscle damage.
4.4 Neuromuscular Function and Contractile
Properties
High-intensity exercise can induce central and peripheral
fatigue, which may impair exercise performance during
subsequent training or competition. Compared with a
1584 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
passive cool-down, Lattier et al. [89] did not find a sig-
nificant effect of an active cool-down consisting of 20 min
of running on the recovery of neuromuscular function (e.g.,
central activation, twitch mechanical, and M-wave char-
acteristics) up to 65 min after high-intensity exercise.
Similarly, a study on professional soccer players found no
significant effect of an active cool-down consisting of
combined low-intensity running and static stretching on
muscular contractile properties such as biceps femoris
contraction time and maximal radial displacement time (as
measured by tensiomyography) 24 h after exercise [80].
Finally, an active cool-down consisting of aqua exercises
also did not significantly affect whole-body reaction time,
muscle contraction time or nerve reaction time in long-
distance runners 24 h after exercise [40].
In summary, these findings indicate that an active cool-
down does not significantly affect the recovery of neuro-
muscular function or contractile properties. However, in all
studies there were generally small but non-significant
positive effects of the active cool-down recovery on the
recovery of neuromuscular function and contractile
properties.
4.5 Stiffness and Range of Motion
Damage to musculotendinous tissue as a result of exer-
cise—specifically eccentric exercise—can increase the
stiffness of the musculotendinous unit. This stiffness can
persist for several days following exercise [90]. The
increased passive musculotendinous stiffness can reduce
the range of motion during subsequent training or compe-
tition [90], and this may impair performance. Researchers
and trainers frequently use perceived flexibility and mea-
sures of flexibility such as the sit-and-reach test to assess
recovery [91]. Another common belief for using an active
cool-down is that it attenuates the decrease in range of
motion [7] and increase in musculotendinous stiffness
following exercise.
The scientific evidence available suggests that an active
cool-down does not significantly attenuate the decrease in
range of motion and perceived physical flexibility, or
attenuate the increase in musculotendinous stiffness up to
72 h after exercise [25,40,41,45,50,67,92]. Takahashi
et al. [40] found that an active cool-down consisting of
30 min of water exercises did not significantly affect sit-
and-reach score, ankle range of motion, stride length, or
calf and thigh musculotendinous stiffness measured 1 day
after 3 95 min of downhill running. Similarly, a study
among professional soccer players found no significant
effect of an active cool-down consisting of 12 min sub-
maximal running combined with 8 min of static stretching
on lower limb flexibility 24 h after a standardized training
program (consisting of 15 min of maximal intensity
intermittent exercises and a 30 min of specific aerobic
endurance drill) [50].
In summary, these findings indicate that an active cool-
down does not attenuate the decrease in range of motion or
the increase in musculotendinous stiffness following
exercise.
4.6 Muscle Glycogen Resynthesis
High-intensity exercise can deplete muscle glycogen stor-
age, and this can impair subsequent high-intensity exercise
performance up to 24 h post-exercise [93]. Strategies that
enhance the resynthesis of glycogen may therefore atten-
uate the decrease in performance and even enhance per-
formance. Athletes often consume carbohydrates after
exercise. An active cool-down may theoretically enhance
glycogen resynthesis, because an increased blood flow and
elevated muscle temperature could increase glucose
delivery to muscle tissue [94], while muscle contraction
may increase the expression of the GLUT-4 glucose
transporter. However, studies have found either no signif-
icant difference in the rate of glycogen resynthesis between
an active cool-down and passive cool-down [58,66,95], or
less glycogen resynthesis during an active cool-down
[64,68,9698]. During the active cool-down, these studies
provided no carbohydrate [58,64,66,68,95], less carbo-
hydrate [96], or more carbohydrate [97,98] than what is
recommended (1.2 g/kg/h [99]) for restoring muscle
glycogen. Therefore, these findings suggest that an active
cool-down may interfere with muscle glycogen resynthesis,
particularly within type I muscle fibers [64], because these
fibers are preferentially recruited during a low- to moder-
ate-intensity active cool-down. Although this effect may be
beneficial to enhance cellular responses and adaptation
during a subsequent low- to moderate- intensity training
(i.e., ‘train low’ [100]), it may also decrease performance
during high-intensity training or competition. It should be
noted that several studies applied active cool-downs for a
duration that is rarely used in daily practice (e.g., 45 min
up to 4 h) [64,66,9698]. For example, Kuipers et al.
compared glycogen resynthesis between a passive cool-
down and an active cool-down in which participants cycled
for 2.5 h at 40% of their maximum workload [97], or 3 h at
40% of their maximum workload [64,66,96,98]. In
contrast, studies that reported no significant (but also
lower) difference in the rate of glycogen resynthesis
between an active cool-down and passive cool-down usu-
ally applied shorter active cool-down durations (i.e., 10, 15,
and 45 min [58,66,95]), suggesting that shorter active
cool downs interfere less with glycogen resynthesis.
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1585
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
4.7 Recovery of the Immune System
During the recovery period from high-intensity or pro-
longed exercise, there can be a temporary depression of the
immune system (also referred to as an ‘open window’)
during which microbial agents such as viruses have an
increased chance to cause an infection or illness [101]. A
faster recovery of the immune system following exercise
can potentially reduce the chance of upper respiratory ill-
nesses. A small number of studies have investigated the
effects of an active cool-down on the recovery of the
immune system up to 72 h after exercise.
Wigernaes et al. [70,102] found that an active cool-
down largely prevented the fall in white blood cell count
immediately after exercise compared with a passive cool-
down. However, there was no significant difference
120 min after the exercise [70]. Similarly, two other
studies reported no significant difference between an active
cool-down and passive cool-down on immune system
markers 24 h after a soccer [103] and rugby match [84].
In summary, these findings suggest that an active cool-
down may partially prevent the depression of circulating
immune cell counts immediately after exercise, but this
effect is probably negligible [2 h after exercise. No
studies have investigated the effects of regular active cool-
downs, so it remains unknown whether this leads to fewer
illnesses.
4.8 Cardiovascular and Respiratory Variables
The cardiovascular and respiratory systems are highly
active during exercise to supply the exercising muscles
with blood and oxygen. These systems do not immediately
return to resting levels after exercise, but remain activated
for a considerable amount of time. For example, heart rate
remains slightly elevated above resting heart rate for a
relatively long time after exercise, with the exact period
dependent on the intensity and duration of the exercise
[104]. An active cool-down is frequently performed in an
attempt to restore normal activity of these systems after
exercise [7].
In a comparison between a passive cool-down and two
cycling-based active cool-down protocols, Takahashi and
Miyamoto [104] found that heart rate initially recovered in
a nearly identical way, but 10 min after the exercise (3 min
after the active cool-down), heart rate was significantly
lower for the active cool-down interventions. A later study
confirmed these findings, and suggested that this response
to active cool-down reflected a faster restoration of vagal
and sympathetic tone [105]. In one additional subject, it
was shown that the heart rate following a passive cool-
down was still higher 30 min after exercise than the resting
heart rate, whereas it had returned to resting levels after the
active cool-down [104]. By contrast, other studies found a
slower heart rate recovery during an active cool-down
compared with a passive cool-down. Nevertheless, these
studies only monitored the heart rate for 60 s [106]or
5 min [107,108] after exercise, and the practical relevance
of these findings with regard to ‘training recovery’ is
therefore limited.
An active cool-down has also been reported to lead to a
faster recovery of respiratory variables such as minute
expiratory ventilation, although this primarily occurred
during the initial 20 s of the cool-down [109]. Other studies
found a lower breathing frequency (non-significant) after
an active cool-down [105] and a faster recovery of oxygen
debt during an active cool-down [55].
Finally, the period right after exercise can be considered
as a vulnerable period during which individuals can
experience post-exercise syncope, with symptoms such as
lightheadedness, tunnel vision, and blurred vision [110]. In
severe circumstances, individuals may lose consciousness
completely during this post-exercise period. It has been
suggested that an active cool-down may prevent post-ex-
ercise syncope and cardiovascular complications by: (1)
increasing blood flow to the heart and brain due to the
contractions of the muscles [108,110], (2) decreasing
blood pooling in the lower extremities [104], and (3) the-
oretically preventing an increase in the partial pressure of
arterial carbon dioxide [111]. Indeed, an active cool-down
has been reported to result in a higher blood flow to the legs
[58,104] and forearm [75], but whether these effects pre-
vent post-exercise syncope and cardiovascular complica-
tions remains unknown.
In summary, these findings suggest that an active cool-
down may result in a faster recovery of the cardiovascular
and respiratory system after exercise. However, it is
unknown whether this also leads to a reduction in the
incidence of post-exercise syncope and cardiovascular
complications.
4.9 Sweat Rate and Thermoregulation
Similar to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems,
muscle and core temperature can remain elevated above
resting levels up to 90 min after exercise. Sweat rate is
higher after exercise to reduce the core temperature to
resting levels [112]. Although an active cool-down on a
stationary bike results in a higher sweat rate compared with
a passive cool-down, core temperature is not lower even
after 30 min of active cool-down [65,75,113116].
Therefore, an active cool-down performed on a stationary
bike does not result in a faster recovery of core temperature
compared to a passive cool-down. Whether an active cool-
down performed while moving (e.g., running outside dur-
ing which sweat may evaporate faster compared with
1586 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
stationary biking) results in a faster recovery of core tem-
perature compared with a passive cool-down requires fur-
ther investigation.
4.10 Hormone Concentrations
It has been proposed that the rate at which hormone con-
centrations return to resting levels can be used to charac-
terize physiological stress [43] and psychological recovery
[29]. The findings of four studies suggest that an active
cool-down does not facilitate the recovery of hormone
concentrations compared with a passive cool-down
[29,43,64,102]. A study on well-trained futsal players, for
example, found no significant effect of an active cool-down
on hormone concentrations measured 5 h after a futsal
game or measured the next morning [29]. An active cool-
down consisting of uphill treadmill running actually
resulted in a slower acute restoration of plasma adrenaline,
noradrenaline and cortisol concentrations compared with a
passive cool-down [102]. However, from 30 min post-ex-
ercise onwards, there were no significant differences in the
hormone concentrations. The relevance of this finding is
therefore questionable. A later study reported similar
findings, with the hormonal concentrations returning more
slowly to resting levels compared with a passive cool-
down, but there was no significant difference beyond
30 min post-exercise [64]. Finally, Taipale et al. [43]
reported that an active cool-down consisting of 10 910
repetitions of leg press at 30% of the 1 repetition maximum
did not result in significant between-group differences for
several hormonal concentrations during the next morning.
In summary, these findings suggest that an active cool-
down may result in a slower recovery of hormone con-
centrations immediately after exercise, but does not sig-
nificantly affect the recovery of hormonal concentrations
beyond 30 min post-exercise compared with a passive
cool-down. In support of this, plasma concentrations for
several hormones have been reported to return to resting
levels within 60–120 min post-exercise even with a passive
cool-down [117].
4.11 Mood State, Self-Perception, and Sleep
Most research has investigated the physiological effects of
an active cool-down and a passive cool-down, yet psy-
chological effects are intimately linked to the physiological
effects, and are also of major importance for performance.
A recent systematic review even proposed that subjective
measures of well-being better reflect training loads than do
objective measures [118]. Therefore, the psychological
effects of an active cool-down are also important to con-
sider in relation to recovery.
Most studies have not reported any significant effect of
an active cool-down on measures of psychological recov-
ery such as the score on the Profile of Mood States (POMS)
or rest-Q sport questionnaire. Nevertheless, the participants
usually perceived an active cool-down as more beneficial
than a passive cool-down [15,25,29,30,39,41,46,
47,67,119]. For example, a study among well-trained
futsal players reported that the players perceived the active
cool-down consisting of low-intensity exercises on land
and especially the active cool-down consisting of water-
based exercises as more beneficial than a passive cool-
down—even though there was no significant effect on the
recovery-stress state and the amount of sleep [29]. Another
study among military men also did not demonstrate any
significant effect of an active cool-down consisting of
water exercises on sleep, rest-recovery score or rating of
perceived exertion during submaximal exercise after a 6-h
rest period [15]. However, the participants in this study did
rate the water-based active cool-down as more beneficial
than the passive cool-down. Interestingly, a study on sport
students found no significant difference between a passive
cool-down and an aqua-cycling active cool-down for per-
ceived physical state 4, 24, 48, or 72 h after performing
300 countermovement jumps, but the perceived physical
fitness and energy were slightly lower 24 h after the active
cool-down [45]. Similarly, a study on recreational netball
players reported that rating of perceived exertion was sig-
nificantly higher following a 15-min running-based active
cool-down compared with a passive cool-down [44]. These
findings possibly reflect the greater energy expenditure
associated with an active cool-down versus a passive cool-
down. By contrast, a study among 15 rugby players found
that the ‘tension’ score on the POMS questionnaire was
significantly lower two days after a rugby match in the
group that performed a 1-h active cool-down once a day
compared with another group that performed a passive
cool-down [84]. However, there was no significant effect
on any of the other POMS scores, and no significant dif-
ference on the day after the match, when only one active
cool-down session was performed. These findings imply
that an active cool-down can potentially interfere with
psychological recovery in untrained or recreationally
trained individuals, whereas it likely has no (or a slight)
positive effect on psychological recovery in better trained
individuals. In support of this, even though most individ-
uals perceive an active cool-down as more beneficial, some
(recreationally active) individuals may perceive it as ‘more
exercise’ or increasing stiffness [25]. This may explain
why elite rugby players rated an active cool-down as more
effective than amateur rugby players in a recent survey [6].
In summary, an active cool-down generally does not
substantially influence measures of psychological recovery
after exercise, but most individuals nevertheless perceive
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1587
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
an active cool-down as more beneficial than a passive cool-
down. Reasons reported for doing an active cool-down
include relaxation, socializing and time to reflect on the
training or match [7]. Not all of these aspects are specifi-
cally assessed with the POMS and rest-Q. Therefore, it is
debatable whether questionnaires such as the POMS and
rest-Q sport do adequately assess psychological recovery.
However, the perceived benefit could also reflect a placebo
effect, whereby individuals believe that the active cool-
down is more beneficial than a passive cool-down due to
the popularity in society and its proposed benefits. Cook
and Beaven [27] for example found a correlation between
the perception of the effectiveness of a recovery modality
and subsequent performance that was of similar magnitude
to the correlation observed between physiological recovery
and performance, suggesting that the perception of a
recovery modality can also have a major influence on its
effects.
4.12 Long-Term Effects of an Active Cool-Down
All studies discussed so far have investigated the acute or
short-term (\1 week) effects of an active cool-down and a
passive cool-down. In the following two sections we dis-
cuss the long-term effects of an active cool-down on
injuries and the adaptive response.
4.13 Injury Prevention
An active cool-down can theoretically reduce the risk of
injuries during a subsequent training session, because a
better recovery may result in less neuromuscular fatigue
(see small, non-significant positive effects in Sect. 4.4) and
thereby decrease injury risk. Only a few studies have
investigated the effects of an active cool-down on injuries,
and this has usually been investigated in combination with
stretching and a warm-up. In three prospective cohort
studies on runners, regular use of a cool-down did not
significantly reduce the incidence of running injuries
[120122]. In another prospective study on runners, a
health education intervention program consisting of a
warm-up, cool-down, and stretching exercises also did not
significantly reduce the incidence of running injuries [123].
However, a potential confounder in this study was that
most participants in the control group also already per-
formed these practices of their own volition. Finally, per-
forming a regular cool-down after exercise was also not
significantly associated with a reduction in injuries among
triathletes [124] or with finishing a marathon versus not
finishing a marathon in recreational runners [125]. In
contrast with the evidence from the studies above, a study
on dance aerobics instructors found a significant associa-
tion between the duration of the cool-down and the number
of injuries. Specifically, the group performing a 15-min
cool-down showed a lower injury rate than the 5- and
10-min cool-down groups [126], but no control group was
included for comparison. Therefore, a cool-down generally
does not affect injury rates, although more research is
required to investigate the effects of the type of cool-down,
its duration, and the type of sport.
4.14 Long-Term Adaptive Response
Exercise stimulates the release of various biochemical
messengers that activate signaling pathways, which in turn
regulate molecular gene expression that elicits an adaptive
response [100]. Some recovery interventions such as
antioxidant supplementation, nonsteroidal anti-inflamma-
tory drugs, and cold-water immersion can influence sig-
naling pathways, thereby attenuating the long-term
adaptive response to exercise [100,127,128]. For example,
several studies have shown that cold-water immersion after
each training session reduces blood flow and influences
signaling pathways, thereby leading to reduced gains in
muscular strength and endurance compared to an active
cool-down or passive cool-down [129133]. Similarly,
chronic intake of some antioxidants can also have a
harmful effect on mitochondrial biogenesis and perfor-
mance [100,127,134]. Preliminary evidence suggests that
an active cool-down consisting of 15 min moderate-inten-
sity jogging does not attenuate the long-term adaptive
response in well-trained intermittent sport athletes [135].
Interestingly, the group that regularly performed an active-
cool down after training even obtained a higher anaerobic
lactate threshold after 4 weeks of training compared with
the passive cool-down group. This could be related to the
extra training volume completed during an active cool-
down. However, conflicting evidence for the attenuating
effects of other recovery modalities such as cold-water
immersion has been reported [136], and more research
investigating the effects of an active cool-down on the
long-term adaptive response with other exercise modalities
(e.g., following strength training and using swimming or
cycling during the active cool-down) and populations (e.g.,
untrained individuals, elderly) is therefore required.
5 Combination with Other Recovery Interventions
This review has focused on the effects of an active cool-
down consisting of low-intensity exercises such as cycling
or running on measures of sports performance, psy-
chophysiological recovery, injuries, and the long-term
adaptive response. However, most individuals usually
perform a combination of recovery interventions, and this
combination may have different effects than an active cool-
1588 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
down in isolation. Two recovery interventions that are
frequently performed in combination with an active cool-
down are stretching and, more recently, foam rolling. The
effects of these cool-down interventions are briefly dis-
cussed in the following sections.
5.1 Static Stretching
Stretching—especially static stretching—is frequently
incorporated in an (active) cool-down [15,28,29,42]
(Table 2). For example, a study among recreational mara-
thon runners reported that 64% of the runners performed
stretching after training [122]. Another survey on elite
adolescent athletes found that 23% of the Asian and 68% of
the UK athletes used stretching after a training session [91].
Finally, a survey among collegiate athletic trainers in the
USA found that 61% recommended static stretching to be
included as a recovery method after exercise [1]. Surveys
among coaches from other sports report similar results
[2,3,5,137].
Stretching is usually performed to reduce muscle sore-
ness and increase range of motion. Many practitioners also
believe that stretching reduces the risk of injuries and
improves performance [1,35]. Contrary to common
belief, however, static stretching performed either before or
after exercise does not reduce muscle soreness [41,138].
Although stretching can reduce muscle stiffness (when
performed as constant-torque stretching [139]) and increase
the range of motion [67], these effects are also not always
in the athlete’s interest. Long-distance runners with a better
running economy are (for example) actually less flexible,
and increasing flexibility can potentially negatively affect
running economy [72,140]. Finally, although static
stretching may have some effects on strain injuries [141],
an increasing body of research suggests that it has little to
no effect on the prevention of degenerative injuries [140].
Therefore, although stretching is historically a widely
practiced cool-down activity, it may not necessarily aid
recovery from exercise.
5.2 Foam Rolling
Foam rolling has more recently also been incorporated in
many cool-downs, although to a lesser extent than
stretching. A small proportion (4%) of Asian and moderate
proportion (38%) of UK elite adolescent athletes report
using foam rolling after training [91]. Foam rolling is
frequently performed to reduce muscle soreness and to
attenuate the effects of exercise on the reduced range of
motion. Indeed, foam rolling performed after exercise has
been found to reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness,
increase range of motion, and enhance sports performance
during the next day [142,143]. For example, MacDonald
et al. [142] found that the foam rolling group demonstrated
less muscle soreness and better dynamic (but not passive)
range of motion of the hamstrings and vertical jump per-
formance. However, foam rolling also reduced evoked
contractile properties during the next day. Similarly, Rey
and co-workers [144] reported that 20 min of foam rolling
following a soccer practice improved agility performance,
the perception of recovery and reduced muscle soreness in
professional soccer players. However, foam rolling did not
significantly improve sit-and-reach performance or 5- and
10-m sprint performance. Therefore, foam rolling may
facilitate recovery from exercise, but more research is
needed.
Ph
y
siolo
g
ical effects
Blood lactate >18 1 1
Muscle tissue lactate 2 1 1
Delayed onset muscle soreness 2 14
Indirect markers of muscle damage 2 6
Neuromuscular function and contractile properties 3
Stiffness and range of motion 7
Muscle glycogen resynthesis 3 5
Immune system 2 2
Cardiovascular and respiratory system 5 2 2
Sweat rate and thermoregulation 6
Hormone concentrations 4
Psychological effects
Mood state, self-perception and sleep 12 1
Sports performance
Same day performance 4
Next day performance 14
Lon
g
-term effects
Injury prevention 1 6
Adaptive response 1
Fig. 2 Evidence heatmap
showing the effects of an active
cool-down on markers of
psychophysiological recovery,
sports performance, and long-
term effects. Numbers represent
the number of studies
demonstrating a significant
benefit (green), no significant
difference or an inconclusive
effect (blue), or significant harm
(red) of an active cool-down on
the variable of interest
compared to a passive cool-
down
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1589
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
6 Conclusions and Practical Applications
Although there are many proposed benefits of an active
cool-down compared with a passive cool-down (Fig. 1),
this review shows that only a few of these benefits are
supported by research (Fig. 2). Most importantly, we have
provided evidence that an active cool-down generally does
not improve and may even negatively affect performance
later during the same day when the time between succes-
sive training sessions or competitions is [4 h. Similarly,
an active cool-down has likely no substantial effects on
next-day(s) sports performance, but can potentially
enhance next-day(s) performance in some individuals
(Table 2). With regard to the long-term effects, a cool-
down does likely not prevent injuries, and preliminary
evidence suggests that an active cool-down after every
training sessions does not attenuate and may even enhance
the long-term adaptive response.
Several psychophysiological mechanisms are believed
to underlie the potential beneficial effects of an active cool-
down. This review shows that an active cool-down does
generally lead to a faster removal of lactate in blood, but
the practical relevance of this findings is questionable,
especially because lactate is not necessarily removed faster
from muscle tissue and because lactate may not be the
cause of metabolic acidosis. Furthermore, an active cool-
down can partially prevent the depression of circulating
immune cells counts after exercise. However, it is
unknown whether this also leads to fewer infections and
illnesses. An active cool-down can also result in a faster
recovery of the cardiovascular and respiratory system after
exercise, but it remains unknown whether this leads to a
reduction in the number of post-exercise syncopes and
cardiovascular complications. In contrast, an active cool-
down generally does not significantly reduce delayed-onset
muscle soreness or improve the recovery of indirect
markers of muscle damage. It also does not significantly
alter the recovery of the neuromuscular and contractile
properties, improve range of motion, or attenuate muscu-
lotendinous stiffness following exercise, and may even
interfere with glycogen resynthesis. Furthermore, an active
cool-down does generally not significantly facilitate the
recovery of hormonal concentrations, and it also does not
affect measures of psychophysiological recovery. How-
ever, most individuals nevertheless perceive an active cool-
down as more beneficial than a passive cool-down. The
effectiveness of an active cool-down may differ depending
on the individual preferences and beliefs; recovery inter-
ventions should therefore be individualized [28,30]. Some
athletes may benefit more from an active cool-down,
whereas others may prefer to perform no cool-down at all.
The mode, intensity, and duration of a cool-down and
activity preceding the cool-down will likely influence the
effectiveness of the cool-down on recovery and these
effects may also differ between individuals. It is therefore
difficult to recommend one optimal active cool-down
protocol for all individuals in all situations. Some general
guidelines can, however, be provided. An active cool-down
should: (1) involve dynamic activities performed at a low
to moderate metabolic intensity to increase blood flow, but
prevent development of substantial additional fatigue; (2)
involve low to moderate mechanical impact to prevent the
development of (additional) muscular damage and delayed-
onset muscle soreness; (3) be shorter than approximately
30 min to prevent substantial interference with glycogen
resynthesis; and (4) involve exercise that is preferred by the
individual athlete. Some evidence also suggests that an
active cool-down should involve the same muscles as used
during the preceding activity [145].
More research is required to investigate the differences
between different active cool-down interventions (e.g.,
land-based vs. water-based active cool-downs), the effects
of different exercise protocols that precede the cool-down,
and the effect of active cool-downs in various populations
(e.g., elderly). It is also important to consider that most
studies have investigated the effects on untrained or
recreationally trained individuals, because the detrimental
effects of training are easier to induce (to show greater
effects of recovery interventions). These findings may not
necessarily transfer to better trained athletes. Finally, sev-
eral studies have used protocols that are rarely used in daily
practice and more research is required on practical active
cool-downs and the effects of active cool-downs on
endurance performance.
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Bjo
¨rn Ekblom
from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences for his com-
ments on a preliminary version of this manuscript, Will Hopkins from
Victoria University for his suggestions on the statistical analysis of
the data in Table 2, and Bianca Cattelini contracted through the
Queensland Academy of Sport for her assistance with the infographic.
Author contributions BVH conceived the study and wrote the first
draft of the manuscript. JMP provided suggestions, revisions, and
edits.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest Bas Van Hooren and Jonathan Peake declare
that they have no conflicts of interest.
Funding The Open Access fee was paid by Maastricht University.
No other funding was received for this manuscript.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give
1590 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a
link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were
made.
References
1. Popp JK, Bellar DM, Hoover DL, Craig BW, Leitzelar BN,
Wanless EA, et al. Pre- and post-activity stretching practices of
collegiate athletic trainers in the United states. J Strength Cond
Res. 2017;31(9):2347–54. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0000000000000890.
2. Judge LW, Bellar D, Craig B, Petersen J, Camerota J, Wanless
E, et al. An examination of preactivity and postactivity flexi-
bility practices of National Collegiate Athletic Association
Division I tennis coaches. J Strength Cond Res.
2012;26(1):184–91. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0b013e31821852d0.
3. Judge LW, Bodey K, Beller D, Bottone A, Wanless E. Pre-
activity and post-activity stretching perceptions and practices in
NCAA Division I volleyball programs. ICHPER-SD JR.
2010;5(1):68–75.
4. Judge LW, Petersen JC, Bellar DM, Craig BW, Wanless EA,
Benner M, et al. An examination of preactivity and postactivity
stretching practices of crosscountry and track and field distance
coaches. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(9):2456–64. https://doi.
org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318257703c.
5. Judge LW, Bellar DM, Gilreath EL, Petersen JC, Craig BW,
Popp JK, et al. An examination of preactivity and postactivity
stretching practices of NCAA division I, NCAA division II, and
NCAA division III track and field throws programs. J Strength
Cond Res. 2013;27(10):2691–9. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0b013e318280c9ac.
6. Tavares F, Healey P, Smith TB, Driller M. The usage and per-
ceived effectiveness of different recovery modalities in amateur
and elite Rugby athletes. Perform Enhanc Health.
2017;5(4):142–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.peh.2017.04.002.
7. Crowther F, Sealey R, Crowe M, Edwards A, Halson S. Team
sport athletes’ perceptions and use of recovery strategies: a
mixed-methods survey study. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil.
2017;9(1):6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-017-0071-3.
8. Van Wyk DV, Lambert MI. Recovery strategies implemented by
sport support staff of elite rugby players in South Africa. S Afr J
Physiother. 2009;65(1):41–6.
9. Higgins TR, Greene DA, Baker MK. Effects of cold water
immersion and contrast water therapy for recovery from team
sport: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Strength Cond
Res. 2017;31(5):1443–60. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0000000000001559.
10. Stephens JM, Halson S, Miller J, Slater GJ, Askew CD. Cold
water immersion for athletic recovery: one size does not fit all.
Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016;12(1):1–24. https://doi.org/
10.1123/ijspp.2016-0095.
11. Hill J, Howatson G, van Someren K, Leeder J, Pedlar C.
Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced
muscle damage: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med.
2014;48(18):1340–6. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2013-
092456.
12. Brown F, Gissane C, Howatson G, van Someren K, Pedlar C,
Hill J. Compression garments and recovery from exercise: a
meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1007/
s40279-017-0728-9 (Epub ahead of print).
13. Hohenauer E, Taeymans J, Baeyens JP, Clarys P, Clijsen R. The
effect of post-exercise cryotherapy on recovery characteristics: a
systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One.
2015;10(9):e0139028. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.
0139028.
14. Costello JT, Baker PR, Minett GM, Bieuzen F, Stewart IB,
Bleakley C. Cochrane review: whole-body cryotherapy (extreme
cold air exposure) for preventing and treating muscle soreness
after exercise in adults. J Evid Based Med. 2016. https://doi.org/
10.1111/jebm.12187.
15. Cortis C, Tessitore A, D’Artibale E, Meeusen R, Capranica L.
Effects of post-exercise recovery interventions on physiological,
psychological, and performance parameters. Int J Sports Med.
2010;31(5):327–35. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0030-1248242.
16. Cochrane DJ, Booker HR, Mundel T, Barnes MJ. Does inter-
mittent pneumatic leg compression enhance muscle recovery
after strenuous eccentric exercise? Int J Sports Med.
2013;34(11):969–74. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0033-1337944.
17. Northey JM, Rattray B, Argus CK, Etxebarria N, Driller MW.
Vascular occlusion and sequential compression for recovery
after resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res.
2016;30(2):533–9. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0000000000001080.
18. Fonda B, Sarabon N. Effects of intermittent lower-body negative
pressure on recovery after exercise-induced muscle damage. Int
J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015;10(5):581–6. https://doi.org/10.
1123/ijspp.2014-0311.
19. Lau WY, Nosaka K. Effect of vibration treatment on symptoms
associated with eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. Am
J Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;90(8):648–57. https://doi.org/10.
1097/PHM.0b013e3182063ac8.
20. Morgan PM, Salacinski AJ, Stults-Kolehmainen MA. The acute
effects of flotation restricted environmental stimulation tech-
nique on recovery from maximal eccentric exercise. J Strength
Cond Res. 2013;27(12):3467–74. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0b013e31828f277e.
21. Sands WA, Murray MB, Murray SR, McNeal JR, Mizuguchi S,
Sato K, et al. Peristaltic pulse dynamic compression of the lower
extremity enhances flexibility. J Strength Cond Res.
2014;28(4):1058–64. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0000000000000244.
22. Vanin AA, Verhagen E, Barboza SD, Costa LOP, Leal-Junior
ECP. Photobiomodulation therapy for the improvement of
muscular performance and reduction of muscular fatigue asso-
ciated with exercise in healthy people: a systematic review and
meta-analysis. Lasers Med Sci. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1007/
s10103-017-2368-6 (Epub ahead of print).
23. Malone JK, Blake C, Caulfield BM. Neuromuscular electrical
stimulation during recovery from exercise: a systematic review.
J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(9):2478–506. https://doi.org/10.
1519/JSC.0000000000000426.
24. Bahnert A, Norton K, Lock P. Association between post-game
recovery protocols, physical and perceived recovery, and per-
formance in elite Australian Football League players. J Sci Med
Sport. 2013;16(2):151–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2012.
05.008.
25. Crowther F, Sealey R, Crowe M, Edwards A, Halson S. Influ-
ence of recovery strategies upon performance and perceptions
following fatiguing exercise: a randomized controlled trial.
BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2017;9(1):25. https://doi.org/10.
1186/s13102-017-0087-8.
26. Bishop PA, Jones E, Woods AK. Recovery from training: a brief
review. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(3):1015–24. https://doi.
org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e31816eb518.
27. Cook CJ, Beaven CM. Individual perception of recovery is
related to subsequent sprint performance. Br J Sports Med.
2013;47(11):705–9. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-
091647.
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1591
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
28. Tessitore A, Meeusen R, Cortis C, Capranica L. Effects of dif-
ferent recovery interventions on anaerobic performances fol-
lowing preseason soccer training. J Strength Cond Res.
2007;21(3):745–50. https://doi.org/10.1519/R-20386.1.
29. Tessitore A, Meeusen R, Pagano R, Benvenuti C, Tiberi M,
Capranica L. Effectiveness of active versus passive recovery
strategies after futsal games. J Strength Cond Res.
2008;22(5):1402–12. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0b013e31817396ac.
30. Reader C, Wiewelhove T, Schneider C, Do
¨weling A, Kellman
M, Meyer T, et al. Effects of active recovery on muscle function
following high-intensity training sessions in elite Olympic
weightlifters. Adv Skelet Muscle Funct Assess. 2017;1(1):3–12.
31. Greenwood JD, Moses GE, Bernardino FM, Gaesser GA,
Weltman A. Intensity of exercise recovery, blood lactate dis-
appearance, and subsequent swimming performance. J Sports
Sci. 2008;26(1):29–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/
02640410701287263.
32. Jemni M, Sands WA, Friemel F, Delamarche P. Effect of active
and passive recovery on blood lactate and performance during
simulated competition in high level gymnasts. Can J Appl
Physiol. 2003;28(2):240–56.
33. Franchini E, de Moraes Bertuzzi RC, Takito MY, Kiss MA.
Effects of recovery type after a judo match on blood lactate and
performance in specific and non-specific judo tasks. Eur J Appl
Physiol. 2009;107(4):377–83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-
009-1134-2.
34. Heyman E, De Geus B, Mertens I, Meeusen R. Effects of four
recovery methods on repeated maximal rock climbing perfor-
mance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(6):1303–10. https://doi.
org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e318195107d.
35. Thiriet P, Gozal D, Wouassi D, Oumarou T, Gelas H, Lacour JR.
The effect of various recovery modalities on subsequent per-
formance, in consecutive supramaximal exercise. J Sport Med
Phys Fit. 1993;33(2):118–29.
36. Hopkins WG. A spreadsheet for deriving a confidence interval,
mechanistic inference and clinical inference from a p value.
Sportscience. 2007;11:16–20.
37. Lakens D. Calculating and reporting effect sizes to facilitate
cumulative science: a practical primer for t-tests and ANOVAs.
Front Psychol. 2013;4:863. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.
00863.
38. Hopkins WG, Marshall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J. Progres-
sive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(1):3–13.
39. Lane KN, Wenger HA. Effect of selected recovery conditions on
performance of repeated bouts of intermittent cycling separated
by 24 hours. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(4):855–60. https://
doi.org/10.1519/14183.1.
40. Takahashi J, Ishihara K, Aoki J. Effect of aqua exercise on
recovery of lower limb muscles after downhill running. J Sports
Sci. 2006;24(8):835–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/
02640410500141737.
41. Dawson B, Cow S, Modra S, Bishop D, Stewart G. Effects of
immediate post-game recovery procedures on muscle soreness,
power and flexiblity levels over the next 48 hours. J Sci Med
Sport. 2005;8(2):210–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1440-
2440(05)80012-X.
42. Reilly T, Rigby M. Effect of an active warm-down following
competitive soccer. In: Spinks W, Reilly T, Murphy A, editors.
Science and football IV. London: Routledge; 2002. p. 226–9.
43. Taipale RS, Kyrolainen H, Gagnon SS, Nindl B, Ahtiainen J,
Hakkinen K. Active and passive recovery influence responses of
luteinizing hormone and testosterone to a fatiguing strength
loading. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1007/
s00421-017-3753-3 (Epub ahead of print).
44. King M, Duffield R. The effects of recovery interventions on
consecutive days of intermittent sprint exercise. J Strength Cond
Res. 2009;23(6):1795–802. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0b013e3181b3f81f.
45. Wahl P, Sanno M, Ellenberg K, Frick H, Bohm E, Haiduck B,
et al. Aqua cycling does not affect recovery of performance,
damage markers, and sensation of pain. J Strength Cond Res.
2017;31(1):162–70. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0000000000001462.
46. Getto CN, Golden G. Comparison of active recovery in water
and cold-water immersion after exhaustive exercise. Athl Train
Sports Health Care. 2013;5(4):169–76. https://doi.org/10.3928/
19425864-20130702-03.
47. Marquet LA, Hausswirth C, Hays A, Vettoretti F, Brisswalter J.
Comparison of between-training-sessions recovery strategies for
world-class BMX pilots. Int J Sports Physiol Perform.
2015;10(2):219–23. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2014-0152.
48. Weber MD, Servedio FJ, Woodall WR. The effects of three
modalities on delayed onset muscle soreness. J Orthop Sports
Phys Ther. 1994;20(5):236–42. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.
1994.20.5.236.
49. Vanderthommen M, Makrof S, Demoulin C. Comparison of
active and electrostimulated recovery strategies after fatiguing
exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2010;9(2):164–9.
50. Rey E, Lago-Penas C, Casais L, Lago-Ballesteros J. The effect
of immediate post-training active and passive recovery inter-
ventions on anaerobic performance and lower limb flexibility in
professional soccer players. J Hum Kinet. 2012;31:121–9.
https://doi.org/10.2478/v10078-012-0013-9.
51. Cairns SP. Lactic acid and exercise performance : culprit or
friend? Sports Med. 2006;36(4):279–91. https://doi.org/10.2165/
00007256-200636040-00001.
52. Martin NA, Zoeller RF, Robertson RJ, Lephart SM. The com-
parative effects of sports massage, active recovery, and rest in
promoting blood lactate clearance after supramaximal leg
exercise. J Athl Train. 1998;33(1):30–5.
53. Navalta JW, Hrncir SP. Core stabilization exercises enhance
lactate clearance following high-intensity exercise. J Strength
Cond Res. 2007;21(4):1305–9. https://doi.org/10.1519/R-21546.
1.
54. Belcastro AN, Bonen A. Lactic acid removal rates during con-
trolled and uncontrolled recovery exercise. J Appl Physiol.
1975;39(6):932–6.
55. Gisolfi C, Robinson S, Turrell ES. Effects of aerobic work
performed during recovery from exhausting work. J Appl
Physiol. 1966;21(6):1767–72. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.
1966.21.6.1767.
56. Hermansen L, Stensvold I. Production and removal of lactate
during exercise in man. Acta Physiol Scand.
1972;86(2):191–201. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.1972.
tb05325.x.
57. Stamford BA, Weltman A, Moffatt R, Sady S. Exercise recovery
above and below anaerobic threshold following maximal work.
J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1981;51(4):840–4.
https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1981.51.4.840.
58. Bangsbo J, Graham T, Johansen L, Saltin B. Muscle lactate
metabolism in recovery from intense exhaustive exercise:
impact of light exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985).
1994;77(4):1890–5.
59. Taoutaou Z, Granier P, Mercier B, Mercier J, Ahmaidi S, Pre-
faut C. Lactate kinetics during passive and partially active
recovery in endurance and sprint athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol
Occup Physiol. 1996;73(5):465–70.
60. Menzies P, Menzies C, McIntyre L, Paterson P, Wilson J, Kemi
OJ. Blood lactate clearance during active recovery after an
intense running bout depends on the intensity of the active
1592 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
recovery. J Sports Sci. 2010;28(9):975–82. https://doi.org/10.
1080/02640414.2010.481721.
61. Gmada N, Bouhlel E, Mrizak I, Debabi H, Ben Jabrallah M,
Tabka Z, et al. Effect of combined active recovery from
supramaximal exercise on blood lactate disappearance in trained
and untrained man. Int J Sports Med. 2005;26(10):874–9.
https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2005-837464.
62. Dotan R, Falk B, Raz A. Intensity effect of active recovery from
glycolytic exercise on decreasing blood lactate concentration in
prepubertal children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000;32(3):564–70.
https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-200003000-00003.
63. Kappenstein J, Engel F, Fernandez-Fernandez J, Ferrauti A.
Effects of active and passive recovery on blood lactate and
blood pH after a repeated sprint protocol in children and adults.
Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2015;27(1):77–84. https://doi.org/10.1123/
pes.2013-0187.
64. Fairchild TJ, Armstrong AA, Rao A, Liu H, Lawrence S,
Fournier PA. Glycogen synthesis in muscle fibers during active
recovery from intense exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
2003;35(4):595–602. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.MSS.
0000058436.46584.8E.
65. Falk B, Einbinder M, Weinstein Y, Epstein S, Karni Y, Yarom
Y, et al. Blood lactate concentration following exercise: effects
of heat exposure and of active recovery in heat-acclimatized
subjects. Int J Sports Med. 1995;16(1):7–12.
66. Futre EMP, Noakes TD, Raine RI, Terblanche SE. Muscle
glycogen repletion during active postexercise recovery. Am J
Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 1987;253(3):E305–11. https://doi.
org/10.1152/ajpendo.1987.253.3.E305.
67. Ce
`E, Limonta E, Maggioni MA, Rampichini S, Veicsteinas A,
Esposito F. Stretching and deep and superficial massage do not
influence blood lactate levels after heavy-intensity cycle exer-
cise. J Sports Sci. 2013;31(8):856–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/
02640414.2012.753158.
68. Choi D, Cole KJ, Goodpaster BH, Fink WJ, Costill DL. Effect
of passive and active recovery on the resynthesis of muscle
glycogen. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994;26(8):992–6.
69. Mota MR, Dantas RAE, Oliveira-Silva I, Sales MM, Sotero
RDC, Venancio PEM, et al. Effect of self-paced active recovery
and passive recovery on blood lactate removal following a
200 m freestyle swimming trial. Open Access J Sports Med.
2017;8:155–60. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S127948.
70. Wigernaes I, Hostmark AT, Kierulf P, Stromme SB. Active
recovery reduces the decrease in circulating white blood cells
after exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2000;21(8):608–12. https://doi.
org/10.1055/s-2000-8478.
71. Karlsson J, Saltin B. Oxygen deficit and muscle metabolites in
intermittent exercise. Acta Physiol Scand. 1971;82(1):115–22.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.1971.tb04948.x.
72. Barnett A. Using recovery modalities between training sessions
in elite athletes—does it help? Sports Med. 2006;36(9):781–96.
https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200636090-00005.
73. Robergs RA, Ghiasvand F, Parker D. Biochemistry of exercise-
induced metabolic acidosis. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp
Physiol. 2004;287(3):R502–16. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.
00114.2004.
74. Yoshida T, Watari H, Tagawa K. Effects of active and passive
recoveries on splitting of the inorganic phosphate peak deter-
mined by 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR
Biomed. 1996;9(1):13–9. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-
1492(199602)9:1\13::AID-NBM394[3.0.CO;2-9.
75. Journeay WS, Reardon FD, McInnis NH, Kenny GP. Nonther-
moregulatory control of cutaneous vascular conductance and
sweating during recovery from dynamic exercise in women.
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005;99(5):1816–21. https://doi.org/10.
1152/japplphysiol.00497.2005.
76. Mizumura K, Taguchi T. Delayed onset muscle soreness:
involvement of neurotrophic factors. J Physiol Sci.
2016;66(1):43–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12576-015-0397-0.
77. Law RYW, Herbert RD. Warm-up reduces delayed-onset mus-
cle soreness but cool-down does not: a randomised controlled
trial. Aust J Physiother. 2007;53(2):91–5. https://doi.org/10.
1016/S0004-9514(07)70041-7.
78. Tufano JJ, Brown LE, Coburn JW, Tsang KK, Cazas VL,
LaPorta JW. Effect of aerobic recovery intensity on delayed-
onset muscle soreness and strength. J Strength Cond Res.
2012;26(10):2777–82. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.
0b013e3182651c06.
79. Olsen O, Sjohaug M, van Beekvelt M, Mork PJ. The effect of
warm-up and cool-down exercise on delayed onset muscle
soreness in the quadriceps muscle: a randomized controlled trial.
J Hum Kinet. 2012;35(1):59–68. https://doi.org/10.2478/
v10078-012-0079-4.
80. Rey E, Lago-Penas C, Lago-Ballesteros J, Casais L. The effect
of recovery strategies on contractile properties using ten-
siomyography and perceived muscle soreness in professional
soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26(11):3081–8.
https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182470d33.
81. Yu JG, Malm C, Thornell LE. Eccentric contractions leading to
DOMS do not cause loss of desmin nor fibre necrosis in human
muscle. Histochem Cell Biol. 2002;118(1):29–34. https://doi.
org/10.1007/s00418-002-0423-1.
82. Nosaka K, Newton M, Sacco P. Delayed-onset muscle soreness
does not reflect the magnitude of eccentric exercise-induced
muscle damage. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2002;12(6):337–46.
https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0838.2002.10178.x.
83. Gill ND, Beaven CM, Cook C. Effectiveness of post-match
recovery strategies in rugby players. Br J Sports Med.
2006;40(3):260–3. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2005.022483.
84. Suzuki M, Umeda T, Nakaji S, Shimoyama T, Mashiko T,
Sugawara K. Effect of incorporating low intensity exercise into
the recovery period after a rugby match. Br J Sports Med.
2004;38(4):436–40. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2002.004309.
85. Malm C, Nyberg P, Engstrom M, Sjodin B, Lenkei R, Ekblom
B, et al. Immunological changes in human skeletal muscle and
blood after eccentric exercise and multiple biopsies. J Physiol.
2000;529 Pt 1(1):243–62. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7793.
2000.00243.x.
86. Clarkson PM, Hubal MJ. Exercise-induced muscle damage in
humans. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;81(11 Suppl):S52–69.
https://doi.org/10.1097/01.PHM.0000029772.45258.43.
87. Van der Meulen JH, Kuipers H, Drukker J. Relationship
between exercise-induced muscle damage and enzyme release in
rats. J Appl Physiol. 1991;71(3):999–1004. https://doi.org/10.
1152/jappl.1991.71.3.999.
88. Fielding RA, Violan MA, Svetkey L, Abad LW, Manfredi TJ,
Cosmas A, et al. Effects of prior exercise on eccentric exercise-
induced neutrophilia and enzyme release. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
2000;32(2):359–64. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-
200002000-00015.
89. Lattier G, Millet GY, Martin A, Martin V. Fatigue and recovery
after high-intensity exercise. Part II: recovery interventions. Int J
Sports Med. 2004;25(7):509–15. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2004-
820946.
90. Howell JN, Chleboun G, Conatser R. Muscle stiffness, strength
loss, swelling and soreness following exercise-induced injury in
humans. J Physiol. 1993;464:183–96.
91. Murray AM, Turner AP, Sproule J, Cardinale M. Practices and
attitudes towards recovery in elite Asian and UK adolescent
athletes. Phys Ther Sport. 2017;25:25–33. https://doi.org/10.
1016/j.ptsp.2016.12.005.
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1593
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
92. Warren CD, Szymanski DJ, Landers MR. Effects of three
recovery protocols on range of motion, heart rate, rating of
perceived exertion, and blood lactate in baseball pitchers during
a simulated game. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(11):3016–25.
https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000487.
93. Burke LM, van Loon LJC, Hawley JA. Postexercise muscle
glycogen resynthesis in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985).
2017;122(5):1055–67. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.
00860.2016.
94. Cheng AJ, Willis SJ, Zinner C, Chaillou T, Ivarsson N, Ørten-
blad N, et al. Post-exercise recovery of contractile function and
endurance in humans and mice is accelerated by heating and
slowed by cooling skeletal muscle. J Physiol.
2017;595:7413–26. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP274870.
95. McAinch AJ, Febbraio MA, Parkin JM, Zhao S, Tangalakis K,
Stojanovska L, et al. Effect of active versus passive recovery on
metabolism and performance during subsequent exercise. Int J
Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004;14(2):185–96.
96. Bonen A, Ness GW, Belcastro AN, Kirby RL. Mild exercise
impedes glycogen repletion in muscle. J Appl Physiol (1985).
1985;58(5):1622–9.
97. Kuipers H, Saris WH, Brouns F, Keizer HA, ten Bosch C.
Glycogen synthesis during exercise and rest with carbohydrate
feeding in males and females. Int J Sports Med. 1989;10 Suppl
1(S 1):S63–7. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-1024955.
98. Kuipers H, Keizer HA, Brouns F, Saris WH. Carbohydrate
feeding and glycogen synthesis during exercise in man. Pflugers
Arch. 1987;410(6):652–6.
99. Beelen M, Burke LM, Gibala MJ, van Loon LJ. Nutritional
strategies to promote postexercise recovery. Int J Sport Nutr
Exerc Metab. 2010;20(6):515–32. https://doi.org/10.1123/
ijsnem.20.6.515.
100. Peake JM, Markworth JF, Nosaka K, Raastad T, Wadley GD,
Coffey VG. Modulating exercise-induced hormesis: does less
equal more? J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015;119(3):172–89. https://
doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.01055.2014.
101. Peake JM, Neubauer O, Walsh NP, Simpson RJ. Recovery of the
immune system after exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985).
2017;122(5):1077–87. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.
00622.2016.
102. Wigernaes I, Hostmark AT, Stromme SB, Kierulf P, Birkeland
K. Active recovery and post-exercise white blood cell count,
free fatty acids, and hormones in endurance athletes. Eur J Appl
Physiol. 2001;84(4):358–66. https://doi.org/10.1007/
s004210000365.
103. de Andrade Bezerra J, de Castro AC, Melo SVA, Martins FSB,
Silva RPM, dos Santo JAR. Passive, active, and cryotherapy
post-match recovery strategies induce similar immunological
response in soccer players. Int J Sports Sci. 2014;4(6A):12–8.
https://doi.org/10.5923/s.sports.201401.02.
104. Takahashi T, Miyamoto Y. Influence of light physical activity
on cardiac responses during recovery from exercise in humans.
Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1998;77(4):305–11. https://
doi.org/10.1007/s004210050338.
105. Takahashi T, Okada A, Hayano J, Tamura T. Influence of cool-
down exercise on autonomic control of heart rate during
recovery from dynamic exercise. Front Med Biol Eng.
2002;11(4):249–59. https://doi.org/10.1163/
156855701321138914.
106. Barak OF, Ovcin ZB, Jakovljevic DG, Lozanov-Crvenkovic Z,
Brodie DA, Grujic NG. Heart rate recovery after submaximal
exercise in four different recovery protocols in male athletes and
non-athletes. J Sports Sci Med. 2011;10(2):369–75.
107. Crisafulli A, Orru V, Melis F, Tocco F, Concu A. Hemody-
namics during active and passive recovery from a single bout of
supramaximal exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003;89(2):209–16.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-003-0796-4.
108. Carter R 3rd, Watenpaugh DE, Wasmund WL, Wasmund SL,
Smith ML. Muscle pump and central command during recovery
from exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985).
1999;87(4):1463–9.
109. Takahashi T, Niizeki K, Miyamoto Y. Respiratory responses to
passive and active recovery from exercise. Jpn J Physiol.
1997;47(1):59–65. https://doi.org/10.2170/jjphysiol.47.59.
110. Romero SA, Minson CT, Halliwill JR. The cardiovascular sys-
tem after exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017;122(4):925–32.
https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00802.2016.
111. Van Lieshout JJ, Wieling W, Karemaker JM, Secher NH. Syn-
cope, cerebral perfusion, and oxygenation. J Appl Physiol
(1985). 2003;94(3):833–48. https://doi.org/10.1152/
japplphysiol.00260.2002.
112. Kenny GP, McGinn R. Restoration of thermoregulation after
exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017;122(4):933–44. https://
doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00517.2016.
113. Carter R 3rd, Wilson TE, Watenpaugh DE, Smith ML, Crandall
CG. Effects of mode of exercise recovery on thermoregulatory
and cardiovascular responses. J Appl Physiol (1985).
2002;93(6):1918–24. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.
00056.2002.
114. Wilson TE, Carter R 3rd, Cutler MJ, Cui J, Smith ML, Crandall
CG. Active recovery attenuates the fall in sweat rate but not
cutaneous vascular conductance after supine exercise. J Appl
Physiol (1985). 2004;96(2):668–73. https://doi.org/10.1152/
japplphysiol.00522.2003.
115. Journeay WS, Reardon FD, Martin CR, Kenny GP. Control of
cutaneous vascular conductance and sweating during recovery
from dynamic exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985).
2004;96(6):2207–12. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.
01201.2003.
116. Jay O, Gagnon D, DuCharme MB, Webb P, Reardon FD, Kenny
GP. Human heat balance during postexercise recovery: sepa-
rating metabolic and nonthermal effects. Am J Physiol Regul
Integr Comp Physiol. 2008;294(5):R1586–92. https://doi.org/10.
1152/ajpregu.00717.2007.
117. Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, Nindl BC. Recovery responses of
testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 after resistance exer-
cise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017;122(3):549–58. https://doi.org/
10.1152/japplphysiol.00599.2016.
118. Saw AE, Main LC, Gastin PB. Monitoring the athlete training
response: subjective self-reported measures trump commonly
used objective measures: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med.
2016;50(5):281–91. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-
094758.
119. West AD, Cooke MB, LaBounty PM, Byars AG, Greenwood M.
Effects of G-trainer, cycle ergometry, and stretching on physi-
ological and psychological recovery from endurance exercise.
J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(12):3453–61. https://doi.org/10.
1519/JSC.0000000000000577.
120. Walter SD, Hart LE, McIntosh JM, Sutton JR. The Ontario
cohort study of running-related injuries. Arch Intern Med.
1989;149(11):2561–4.
121. Van Middelkoop M, Kolkman J, Van Ochten J, Bierma-Zeinstra
SMA, Koes BW. Risk factors for lower extremity injuries
among male marathon runners. Scand J Med Sci Sports.
2008;18(6):691–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2007.
00768.x.
122. van Middelkoop M, Kolkman J, van Ochten J, Bierma-Zeinstra
SM, Koes BW. Course and predicting factors of lower-extremity
injuries after running a marathon. Clin J Sport Med.
2007;17(1):25–30. https://doi.org/10.1097/JSM.
0b013e3180305e4d.
1594 B. Hooren, J. M. Peake
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
123. van Mechelen W, Hlobil H, Kemper HC, Voorn WJ, de Jongh
HR. Prevention of running injuries by warm-up, cool-down, and
stretching exercises. Am J Sports Med. 1993;21(5):711–9.
https://doi.org/10.1177/036354659302100513.
124. Korkia PK, Tunstall-Pedoe DS, Maffulli N. An epidemiological
investigation of training and injury patterns in British triathletes.
Br J Sports Med. 1994;28(3):191–6.
125. Yeung SS, Yeung EW, Wong TW. Marathon finishers and non-
finishers characteristics. A preamble to success. J Sports Med
Phys Fitness. 2001;41(2):170–6.
126. Malliou P, Rokka S, Beneka A, Mavridis G, Godolias G.
Reducing risk of injury due to warm up and cool down in dance
aerobic instructors. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil.
2007;20(1):29–35. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-2007-20105.
127. Braakhuis AJ, Hopkins WG. Impact of dietary antioxidants on
sport performance: a review. Sports Med. 2015;45(7):939–55.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-015-0323-x.
128. Lilja M, Mandic M, Apro W, Melin M, Olsson K, Rosenborg S,
et al. High doses of anti-inflammatory drugs compromise muscle
strength and hypertrophic adaptations to resistance training in
young adults. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2017. https://doi.org/10.1111/
apha.12948 (Epub ahead of print).
129. Roberts LA, Raastad T, Markworth JF, Figueiredo VC, Egner
IM, Shield A, et al. Post-exercise cold water immersion atten-
uates acute anabolic signalling and long-term adaptations in
muscle to strength training. J Physiol. 2015;593(18):4285–301.
https://doi.org/10.1113/JP270570.
130. Frohlich M, Faude O, Klein M, Pieter A, Emrich E, Meyer T.
Strength training adaptations after cold-water immersion.
J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(9):2628–33. https://doi.org/10.
1519/JSC.0000000000000434.
131. Yamane M, Teruya H, Nakano M, Ogai R, Ohnishi N, Kosaka
M. Post-exercise leg and forearm flexor muscle cooling in
humans attenuates endurance and resistance training effects on
muscle performance and on circulatory adaptation. Eur J Appl
Physiol. 2006;96(5):572–80. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-
005-0095-3.
132. Yamane M, Ohnishi N, Matsumoto T. Does regular post-exer-
cise cold application attenuate trained muscle adaptation? Int J
Sports Med. 2015;36(08):647–53. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-
0034-1398652.
133. Figueiredo VC, Roberts LA, Markworth JF, Barnett MP,
Coombes JS, Raastad T, et al. Impact of resistance exercise on
ribosome biogenesis is acutely regulated by post-exercise
recovery strategies. Physiol Rep. 2016;4(2):e12670. https://doi.
org/10.14814/phy2.12670.
134. Merry TL, Ristow M. Do antioxidant supplements interfere with
skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training? J Physiol.
2016;594(18):5135–47. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP270654.
135. Wiewelhove T, Schneider C, Schmidt A, Raeder C, Do
¨weling
A, Ferrauti A (eds). Regular active recovery during a high-
intensity interval-training mesocycle does not attenuate training
adaptation. In: 22nd Annual congress of the European College
of Sport Science; 2017; Bochum, Germany.
136. Broatch JR, Petersen A, Bishop DJ. Cold-water immersion
following sprint interval training does not alter endurance sig-
naling pathways or training adaptations in human skeletal
muscle. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.
2017;313(4):R372–84. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00434.
2016.
137. Judge LW, Bellar D, Bodey KJ, Craig B, Prichard M, Wanless
E. An examination of pre-activity and post-activity stretching
practices of NCAA division I and NCAA divison III basketball
programs. J Coach Edu. 2011;4(1):46–64.
138. Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ. Stretching to prevent or
reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database Syst
Rev. 2011;7:CD004577. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.
cd004577.pub3.
139. Ryan ED, Herda TJ, Costa PB, Defreitas JM, Beck TW, Stout J,
et al. Determining the minimum number of passive stretches
necessary to alter musculotendinous stiffness. J Sports Sci.
2009;27(9):957–61. https://doi.org/10.1080/
02640410902998254.
140. Baxter C, Mc Naughton LR, Sparks A, Norton L, Bentley D.
Impact of stretching on the performance and injury risk of long-
distance runners. Res Sports Med. 2017;25(1):78–90. https://doi.
org/10.1080/15438627.2016.1258640.
141. McHugh MP, Cosgrave CH. To stretch or not to stretch: the role
of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scand J Med
Sci Sports. 2010;20(2):169–81. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-
0838.2009.01058.
142. MacDonald GZ, Button DC, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG. Foam
rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical
activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014;46(1):131–42. https://doi.
org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182a123db.
143. Pearcey GE, Bradbury-Squires DJ, Kawamoto JE, Drinkwater
EJ, Behm DG, Button DC. Foam rolling for delayed-onset
muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance mea-
sures. J Athl Train. 2015;50(1):5–13. https://doi.org/10.4085/
1062-6050-50.1.01.
144. Rey E, Padron-Cabo A, Costa PB, Barcala-Furelos R. The
effects of foam rolling as a recovery tool in professional soccer
players. J Strength Cond Res. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.
0000000000002277 (Epub ahead of print).
145. Mika A, Oleksy L, Kielnar R, Wodka-Natkaniec E, Twardowska
M, Kaminski K, et al. Comparison of two different modes of
active recovery on muscles performance after fatiguing exercise
in mountain canoeist and football players. PLoS One.
2016;11(10):e0164216. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.
0164216.
Cool-Down after Exercise? 1595
123
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Terms and Conditions
Springer Nature journal content, brought to you courtesy of Springer Nature Customer Service Center GmbH (“Springer Nature”).
Springer Nature supports a reasonable amount of sharing of research papers by authors, subscribers and authorised users (“Users”), for small-
scale personal, non-commercial use provided that all copyright, trade and service marks and other proprietary notices are maintained. By
accessing, sharing, receiving or otherwise using the Springer Nature journal content you agree to these terms of use (“Terms”). For these
purposes, Springer Nature considers academic use (by researchers and students) to be non-commercial.
These Terms are supplementary and will apply in addition to any applicable website terms and conditions, a relevant site licence or a personal
subscription. These Terms will prevail over any conflict or ambiguity with regards to the relevant terms, a site licence or a personal subscription
(to the extent of the conflict or ambiguity only). For Creative Commons-licensed articles, the terms of the Creative Commons license used will
apply.
We collect and use personal data to provide access to the Springer Nature journal content. We may also use these personal data internally within
ResearchGate and Springer Nature and as agreed share it, in an anonymised way, for purposes of tracking, analysis and reporting. We will not
otherwise disclose your personal data outside the ResearchGate or the Springer Nature group of companies unless we have your permission as
detailed in the Privacy Policy.
While Users may use the Springer Nature journal content for small scale, personal non-commercial use, it is important to note that Users may
not:
use such content for the purpose of providing other users with access on a regular or large scale basis or as a means to circumvent access
control;
use such content where to do so would be considered a criminal or statutory offence in any jurisdiction, or gives rise to civil liability, or is
otherwise unlawful;
falsely or misleadingly imply or suggest endorsement, approval , sponsorship, or association unless explicitly agreed to by Springer Nature in
writing;
use bots or other automated methods to access the content or redirect messages
override any security feature or exclusionary protocol; or
share the content in order to create substitute for Springer Nature products or services or a systematic database of Springer Nature journal
content.
In line with the restriction against commercial use, Springer Nature does not permit the creation of a product or service that creates revenue,
royalties, rent or income from our content or its inclusion as part of a paid for service or for other commercial gain. Springer Nature journal
content cannot be used for inter-library loans and librarians may not upload Springer Nature journal content on a large scale into their, or any
other, institutional repository.
These terms of use are reviewed regularly and may be amended at any time. Springer Nature is not obligated to publish any information or
content on this website and may remove it or features or functionality at our sole discretion, at any time with or without notice. Springer Nature
may revoke this licence to you at any time and remove access to any copies of the Springer Nature journal content which have been saved.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, Springer Nature makes no warranties, representations or guarantees to Users, either express or implied
with respect to the Springer nature journal content and all parties disclaim and waive any implied warranties or warranties imposed by law,
including merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.
Please note that these rights do not automatically extend to content, data or other material published by Springer Nature that may be licensed
from third parties.
If you would like to use or distribute our Springer Nature journal content to a wider audience or on a regular basis or in any other manner not
expressly permitted by these Terms, please contact Springer Nature at
onlineservice@springernature.com
... Decreased sympathetic nerve activity can occur when the body enters the recovery phase after exercise (Doering et al. 2019). The recovery phase can reduce signal transduction, which decreases heart rate due to vasodilation mechanisms (Hooren & Peake, 2018). The higher the training zone level, the more physical maximum performance when exercising. ...
... Previous research has shown a gradual decrease in heart rate is associated with the withdrawal of the parasympathetic nerves to continue the blood being pumped from the heart to the working muscles and back to the heart during active recovery. Active recovery can prevent lactate accumulation into muscle cells and metabolize as the best recovery method to reduce fatigue and return the body to a normal condition (Hooren & Peake, 2018). The body can reduce blood pressure during passive recovery after activity more quickly (Calleja-González et al. 2019). ...
... Meanwhile, another study examining heart arrhythmias showed that an athlete who made a passive recovery after aerobic exercise experienced an increase in heart rate that occurred in the 15th minute as a symptom of overreaching (Boeno et al. 2019). Another study showed that the prevalence of post-exercise syncope by athletes after competing was due to inadequate recovery (Hooren and Peake 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
One of the efforts to prevent the overreaching condition is by doing a recovery phase after exercise. The quality and quantity of recovery influence the effectiveness of recovery. The effectiveness of recovery can be observed by heart rate and body temperature after recovery. This study aims to compare active recovery and passive recovery after moderate-intensity continuous training on heart rate and body temperature. The research method used is quasi-experimental and uses a two-group pre and post-test design. Based on the Pocock formula, the research subjects used were 40 women aged 24 years to 35 years. The data collected include heart rate and body temperature. The data analysis techniques used were normality test, treatment effect test (paired sample t-test), and difference test (independent samples t-test). The results showed that active recovery was better than passive recovery to optimizing post-exercise heart rate (p<0.05). Active recovery was better than passive recovery in optimizing body temperature (p<0.05). It was concluded that active recovery after moderate-intensity continuous training was better than passive recovery to optimize post-exercise recovery and prevent overreaching.
... Sauna, acupuncture and electromyostimulation were excluded because athletes, especially in non-professional settings, may not have permanent access to such strategies (Van Hooren and Peake, 2018). ...
... The rationale is to reduce muscle soreness and be able to better compete in forthcoming sessions (Crowther et al., 2017). However, neither performance recovery nor injury prevention has conclusively been demonstrated (Van Hooren and Peake, 2018). Lactate removal after exercise is positively affected, but the physiological relevance of this mechanism is doubtful (Barnett, 2006;Van Hooren and Peake, 2018). ...
... However, neither performance recovery nor injury prevention has conclusively been demonstrated (Van Hooren and Peake, 2018). Lactate removal after exercise is positively affected, but the physiological relevance of this mechanism is doubtful (Barnett, 2006;Van Hooren and Peake, 2018). Moreover, detrimental effects on recovery may arise when active recovery of long duration is performed, leading to glycogen depletion in type 1 muscle fibers that are addressed at low intensities (Fairchild et al., 2003). ...
Article
Full-text available
Strategies to improve recovery are widely used among soccer players at both amateur and professional levels. Sometimes, however, recovery strategies are ineffective, improperly timed or even harmful to players. This highlights the need to educate practitioners and athletes about the scientific evidence of recovery strategies as well as to provide practical approaches to address this issue. Therefore, recent surveys among soccer athletes and practitioners were reviewed to identify the recovery modalities currently in use. Each strategy was then outlined with its rationale, its physiological mechanisms and the scientific evidence followed by practical approaches to implement the modality. For each intervention, practical and particularly low-effort strategies are provided to ensure that practitioners at all levels are able to implement them. We identified numerous interventions regularly used in soccer, i.e., sleep, rehydration, nutrition, psychological recovery, active recovery, foam-rolling/massage, stretching, cold-water immersion, and compression garments. Nutrition and rehydration were classified with the best evidence, while cold-water immersion, compression garments, foam-rolling/massage and sleep were rated with moderate evidence to enhance recovery. The remaining strategies (active recovery, psychological recovery, stretching) should be applied on an individual basis due to weak evidence observed. Finally, a guide is provided, helping practitioners to decide which intervention to implement. Here, practitioners should rely on the evidence, but also on their own experience and preference of the players.
... Post-exercise stretching is prescribed under the belief that it enhances recovery (American Heart Association, 2020; ACSM, 2021), but reviews do not support these claims (Herbert and Gabriel, 2002;Henschke and Lin, 2011;Herbert et al., 2011;Torres et al., 2012;Baxter et al., 2017;Van Hooren and Peake, 2018). A systematic review with meta-analysis including 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessed the effects of post-exercise stretching on short-term (≤1 h after exercise) and delayed (24, 48, 72 h) recovery markers including delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS), strength and ROM (Afonso et al., 2021a). ...
... A systematic review with meta-analysis of 11 RCTs comparing strength training to stretching for ROM gains has found that for interventions lasting 5 and 16 weeks, the strength training and stretching protocols did not differ in their effects on ROM (Afonso et al., 2021b). To different degrees, eccentric and concentric strength training with full ROM, as well as plyometric training, induce changes in muscle fascicle length and pennation angle, and tendon extensibility, resulting in ROM gains (Reeves et al., 2009;Kubo et al., 2017;Valamatos et al., 2018;Gérard et al., 2020;Marušič et al., 2020). However, the studies included in the review of Afonso et al. (2021b) had considerable heterogeneity in design, populations and protocols. ...
... Although there are many proposed benefits of an active cooldown compared with a passive cooldown, only a few of these benefits are supported by research. However, most individuals perceived an active cooldown to be more beneficial than a passive cooldown [45], and it is important to consider it in future exercise session design. Other customizations of the PA plan, such as adding more sessions, must also be discussed individually. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Physical activity (PA) is the most well-established lifestyle factor associated with breast cancer (BC) survival. Even women with advanced BC may benefit from moderate PA. However, most BC symptoms and treatment side effects are barriers to PA. Mobile health coaching systems can implement functionalities and features based on behavioral change theories to promote healthier behaviors. However, to increase its acceptability among women with BC, it is essential that these digital persuasive systems are designed considering their contextual characteristics, needs, and preferences. Objective This study aimed to examine the potential acceptability and feasibility of a mobile-based intervention to promote PA in patients with BC; assess usability and other aspects of the user experience; and identify key considerations and aspects for future improvements, which may help increase and sustain acceptability and engagement. Methods A mixed methods case series evaluation of usability and acceptability was conducted in this study. The study comprised 3 sessions: initial, home, and final sessions. Two standardized scales were used: the Satisfaction with Life Scale and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire–Short Form. Participants were asked to use the app at home for approximately 2 weeks. App use and PA data were collected from the app and stored on a secure server during this period. In the final session, the participants filled in 2 app evaluation scales and took part in a short individual interview. They also completed the System Usability Scale and the user version of the Mobile App Rating Scale. Participants were provided with a waist pocket, wired in-ear headphones, and a smartphone. They also received printed instructions. A content analysis of the qualitative data collected in the interviews was conducted iteratively, ensuring that no critical information was overlooked. Results The International Physical Activity Questionnaire–Short Form found that all participants (n=4) were moderately active; however, half of them did not reach the recommended levels in the guidelines. System Usability Scale scores were all >70 out of 100 (72.5, 77.5, 95, and 80), whereas the overall user version of the Mobile App Rating Scale scores were 4, 4.3, 4.4, and 3.6 out of 5. The app was perceived to be nice, user-friendly, straightforward, and easy to understand. Recognition of achievements, the possibility of checking activity history, and the rescheduling option were positively highlighted. Technical difficulties with system data collection, particularly with the miscount of steps, could make users feel frustrated. The participants suggested improvements and indicated that the app has the potential to work well for survivors of BC. Conclusions Early results presented in this study point to the potential of this tool concept to provide a friendly and satisfying coaching experience to users, which may help improve PA adherence in survivors of BC.
Article
Context: Although active recovery (AR) and cold application is recommended, many people take a shower after exercise. Therefore, a direct comparison between a shower and other recommended methods (AR and/or cold-water immersion) is necessary. To compare immediate effects of 4 postexercise cooldown strategies after running. Design: A crossover design. Methods: Seventeen young, healthy males (23 y; 174 cm; 73 kg) visited on 4 different days and performed a 10-minute intense treadmill run (5 km/h at a 1% incline, then a belt speed of 1 km/h, and an incline of 0.5% were increased every minute). Then, subjects randomly experienced 4 different 30-minute cooldown strategies each session-AR (10-min treadmill walk + 10-min static stretch + 10-min shower), cold-water walk (10-min shower + 20-min walk in cold water), cold-water sit (10-min shower + 20-min sit in cold water), and passive recovery (10-min shower + 20-min passive recovery). Across the cooldown conditions, the water temperatures for immersion and shower were set as 18 °C and 25 °C, respectively. Lower-leg muscle temperature, blood lactate concentration, and fatigue perception were statistically compared (P < .001 for all tests) and effect sizes (ES) were calculated. Results: The cold-water walk condition (F135,2928 = 69.29, P < .0001) was the most effective in reducing muscle temperature after running (-11.6 °C, ES = 9.46, P < .0001), followed by the cold-water sit (-8.4 °C, ES = 8.61, P < .0001), passive recovery (-4.5 °C, ES = 4.36, P < .0001), and AR (-4.0 °C, ES = 4.29, P < .0001) conditions. Blood lactate concentration (F6,176 = 0.86, P = .52) and fatigue perception (F6,176 = 0.18, P = .98) did not differ among the 4 conditions. Conclusions: While the effect of lowering the lower-leg temperature was different, the effect of reducing blood lactate concentration and fatigue perception were similar in the 4 cooldown strategies. We suggest selecting the appropriate method while considering the specific goal, available time, facility, and accessibility.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Presentación: Oral Palabras Clave: Fatigua, recovery, Futbol, Entrenamiento Introducción: En la actualidad, y teniendo en cuenta el Fútbol de elite, la gran densidad competitiva se convierte en una tónica general. Muchos jugadores se ven abocados a grandes viajes para cumplir sus compromisos con sus equipos nacionales, lo que les lleva a en muchos casos superar los 65 partidos al año (1) Métodos: La literatura científica establece dos tipos principales de fatiga (central y periférica) (2). Para optimizar al máximo la recuperación y poner el énfasis en ambos tipos, la literatura científica establece diferentes estrategias de recovery: Activas, Pasivas, Nutricionales-ergogenicas, Sueño y psciologicas-mentales. Discusión y conclusiones: Aunque existe evidencia contrapuesta en cuenta la eficacia de las estrategias de recovery y cold down (3), muchas de las estrategias mas utilizadas tienen un soporte de eficacia contrastada. Así, el entrenamiento con orientación excéntrica entre los días +1 y-3 se ha comprobado mas adecuado para mejorar la dinámica de CK durante el microciclo competitivo (4). Por otro lado, aunque existen multitud de estudios que han estudiado diferentes protocolos de CWI (inmersión en agua fría) (5), su uso a largo plazo debe ser cauteloso para minimizar al máximo la interferencias con el entrenamiento de fuerza (6)
Article
Stone, BL, Ashley, JD, Skinner, RM, Polanco, JP, Walters, MT, Schilling, BK, and Kellawan, JM. Effects of a short-term heat acclimation protocol in elite amateur boxers. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2022-Boxing requires proficient technical and tactical skills coupled with high levels of physiological capacity. Although heat and humidity negatively affect acute exercise performance, short-term exercise training in hot and humid environments can lead to physiological adaptations that enhance exercise performance in both hot and thermoneutral conditions. In highly trained endurance athletes, exercise-induced acclimation can occur in as little as 5 days (known as short-term heat acclimation [STHA]). However, the impact of a 5-day heat acclimation (5-DayHA) in combat athletes, such as elite amateur boxers, is unknown. The aim of the present investigation was to determine whether a 5-DayHA improves aerobic performance in a thermoneutral environment and causes positive physiological adaptations in elite boxers. Seven elite amateur boxers underwent a 5-DayHA protocol, consisting of 60-minute exercise sessions in an environmental chamber at 32 °C and 70% relative humidity. Repeat sprint test (RST) evaluated aerobic performance in a thermoneutral environment 24 hours before and after the 5-DayHA. Presession and postsession hydration status (urine specific gravity) and body mass were assessed. After a 5-DayHA period, boxers significantly improved RST performance (13 ± 7 to 19 ± 7 sprints, d = 0.92, p = 0.03) but not pre-exercise hydration status (1.02 ± 0.01 to 1.01 ± 0.01, d = 0.82, p = 0.07). Therefore, these findings suggest 5-DayHA enhances aerobic performance in elite-level amateur boxers and may provide a viable training option for elite combat athletes.
Article
Full-text available
We aimed to determine whether voluntary exercise or surface neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) could enhance recovery after a high-intensity functional training (HIFT) session compared with total rest. The study followed a crossover design. Fifteen male recreational CrossFit athletes (29 ± 8 years) performed a HIFT session and were randomized to recover for 15 min with either low-intensity leg pedaling ("Exercise"), NMES to the lower limbs ("NMES"), or total rest ("Control"). Perceptual [rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) of the lower-limb muscles], physiological (heart rate, blood lactate and muscle oxygen saturation) and performance (jump ability) indicators of recovery were assessed at baseline and at different time points during recovery up to 24 h post-exercise. A significant interaction effect was found for RPE (p = 0.035), and although post hoc analyses revealed no significant differences across conditions, there was a quasi-significant (p = 0.061) trend toward a lower RPE with NMES compared with Control immediately after the 15-min recovery. No significant interaction effect was found for the remainder of outcomes (all p > 0.05). Except for a trend toward an improved perceived recovery with NMES compared with Control, low-intensity exercise, NMES, and total rest seem to promote a comparable recovery after a HIFT session.
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite debate regarding their effectiveness, many different post-exercise recovery strategies are used by athletes. This study compared five post-exercise recovery strategies (cold water immersion, contrast water immersion, active recovery, a combined cold water immersion and active recovery and a control condition) to determine which is most effective for subsequent short-term performance and perceived recovery. Methods Thirty-four recreationally active males undertook a simulated team-game fatiguing circuit followed by the above recovery strategies (randomized, 1 per week). Prior to the fatiguing exercise, and at 1, 24 and 48 h post-exercise, perceptual, flexibility and performance measures were assessed. Results Contrast water immersion significantly enhanced perceptual recovery 1 h after fatiguing exercise in comparison to active and control recovery strategies. Cold water immersion and the combined recovery produced detrimental jump power performance at 1 h compared to the control and active recovery strategies. No recovery strategy was different to the control at 24 and 48 h for either perceptual or performance variables. Conclusion For short term perceptual recovery, contrast water therapy should be implemented and for short-term countermovement power performance an active or control recovery is desirable. At 24 and 48 h, no superior recovery strategy was detected. Trial registration Retrospectively registered; ISRCTN14415088; 5/11/2017.
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated whether the repeated use of an active recovery (ACT) program is beneficial for promoting recovery of muscle function during an intensive training phase in elite Olympic weightlifters. Using a crossover design, eight competitive weightlifters (7 male; 1 female) from the German national Olympic team participated in a two-day microcycle, comprising of four high-intensity training sessions, with either ACT or passive recovery (PAS) following the session. Barbell velocity during the clean pull, countermovement jump (CMJ) height, muscle contractile properties using tensiomyography (TMG), creatine kinase activity (CK), muscle soreness (DOMS) and perceived overall recovery and stress were measured. After termination of the microcycle, the sport-specific performance during all clean pull intensities (85% 1RM, ACT: Effect size (ES) = -0.20, PAS: ES = -0.50; 90% 1RM, ACT: ES = -0.29, PAS: ES = -0.35; 95% 1RM, ACT: ES = -0.41, PAS: ES = -020; P > 0.05) decreased. Both CK (ACT: ES = 2.11, PAS: ES = 1.41; P = 0.001) and DOMS (ACT: ES = 1.65, PAS: ES = 2.33; P = 0.052) considerably increased. Similarly, ratings of perceived recovery and stress were adversely affected in ACT and PAS, whereas changes in CMJ height and TMG muscle contractile properties remained trivial in both conditions. No practically meaningful differences in changes of the outcome measures were found between ACT and PAS, however there were variable individual responses to ACT. In conclusion, the short-term implementation of an individualized ACT program does not seem to enhance recovery from training-induced fatigue more effectively than PAS. However, because of the inter-individual variability in responses to ACT, it may be beneficial at the individual level. Advances in Skeletal Muscle Function Assessment, 1(1), 3–12. Retrieved from http://www.asmfajournal.org/uploads/ASMFA_Issue01onlinePRESS.pdf
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute hormonal and muscular responses to a strenuous strength loading [bilateral leg press (LP) 10 × 10 1RM] followed by loading-specific active (AR, n = 7, LP 10 × 10 × 30% 1RM) or passive (PR, n = 11, seated) recovery. The subjects were men age: 26 ± 4 years, height: 174 ± 8 cm, body mass: 75 ± 13 kg. After control measurements, experimental measurements were conducted at pre- and post-loading as well as post-recovery and next morning. A significantly higher absolute concentration (p < 0.05) of serum luteinizing hormone (LH) was observed in AR than PR at next morning while no differences were observed in serum testosterone (T), cortisol (C) or sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Significant differences in relative hormonal responses to the loading were observed at next morning with greater responses observed in AR than in PR in terms of LH, and T (p < 0.05). Maximal bilateral isometric force (MVC) and countermovement jump height (CMJ) decreased significantly (p < 0.001) from the control measurements in both AR and PR but returned to control levels by next morning. No between-group differences were observed in mean absolute or relative changes in MVC or CMJ. From a hormonal perspective, the present AR method appears to have had some favorable effects following the strenuous strength loading; however, acute decreases in muscular force production did not significantly differ between groups. These results provide insight into the development of training programs that may help to support the performance of individuals involved in strenuous tasks.
Article
Full-text available
Researches have been performed to investigate the effects of phototherapy on improving performance and reduction of muscular fatigue. However, a great variability in the light parameters and protocols of the trials are a concern to establish the efficacy of this therapy to be used in sports or clinic. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness, moment of application of phototherapy within an exercise protocol, and which are the parameters optimally effective for the improvement of muscular performance and the reduction of muscular fatigue in healthy people. Systematic searches of PubMed, PEDro, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases were conducted for randomized clinical trials to March 2017. Analyses of risk of bias and quality of evidence of the included trials were performed, and authors were contacted to obtain any missing or unclear information. We included 39 trials (861 participants). Data were reported descriptively through tables, and 28 trials were included in meta-analysis comparing outcomes to placebo. Meta-analysis was performed for the variables: time until reach exhaustion, number of repetitions, isometric peak torque, and blood lactate levels showing a very low to moderate quality of evidence and some effect in favor to phototherapy. Further investigation is required due the lack of methodological quality, small sample size, great variability of exercise protocols, and phototherapy parameters. In general, positive results were found using both low-level laser therapy and light-emitting diode therapy or combination of both in a wavelength range from 655 to 950 nm. Most of positive results were observed with an energy dose range from 20 to 60 J for small muscular groups and 60 to 300 J for large muscular groups and maximal power output of 200 mW per diode.
Article
Full-text available
Key points: We investigated whether intramuscular temperature affects the acute recovery of exercise performance following fatigue-induced by endurance exercise. Mean power output was better preserved during an all-out arm-cycling exercise following a 2 h recovery period in which the upper arms were warmed to an intramuscular temperature of ̴ 38°C than when they were cooled to as low as 15°C, which suggested that recovery of exercise performance in humans is dependent on muscle temperature. Mechanisms underlying the temperature-dependent effect on recovery were studied in intact single mouse muscle fibres where we found that recovery of submaximal force and restoration of fatigue resistance was worsened by cooling (16-26°C) and improved by heating (36°C). Isolated whole mouse muscle experiments confirmed that cooling impaired muscle glycogen resynthesis. We conclude that skeletal muscle recovery from fatigue-induced by endurance exercise is impaired by cooling and improved by heating, due to changes in glycogen resynthesis rate. Abstract: Manipulation of muscle temperature is believed to improve post-exercise recovery, with cooling being especially popular among athletes. However, it is unclear whether such temperature manipulations actually have positive effects. Accordingly, we studied the effect of muscle temperature on the acute recovery of force and fatigue resistance after endurance exercise. One hour of moderate-intensity arm cycling exercise in humans was followed by 2 h recovery in which the upper arms were either heated to 38°C, not treated (33°C), or cooled to ∼15°C. Fatigue resistance after the recovery period was assessed by performing 3 × 5 min sessions of all-out arm cycling at physiological temperature for all conditions (i.e. not heated or cooled). Power output during the all-out exercise was better maintained when muscles were heated during recovery, whereas cooling had the opposite effect. Mechanisms underlying the temperature-dependent effect on recovery were tested in mouse intact single muscle fibres, which were exposed to ∼12 min of glycogen-depleting fatiguing stimulation (350 ms tetani given at 10 s interval until force decreased to 30% of the starting force). Fibres were subsequently exposed to the same fatiguing stimulation protocol after 1-2 h of recovery at 16-36°C. Recovery of submaximal force (30 Hz), the tetanic myoplasmic free [Ca2+ ] (measured with the fluorescent indicator indo-1), and fatigue resistance were all impaired by cooling (16-26°C) and improved by heating (36°C). In addition, glycogen resynthesis was faster at 36°C than 26°C in whole flexor digitorum brevis muscles. We conclude that recovery from exhaustive endurance exercise is accelerated by raising and slowed by lowering muscle temperature.
Article
Full-text available
Aims: This study tested the hypothesis that high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs would attenuate the adaptive response to resistance training compared with low doses. Methods: Healthy men and women (aged 18-35 years) were randomly assigned to daily consumption of ibuprofen (IBU; 1200 mg; n=15) or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA; 75 mg; n=16) for 8 weeks. During this period, subjects completed supervised knee-extensor resistance training where one leg was subjected to training with maximal volitional effort in each repetition using a flywheel ergometer (FW), while the other leg performed conventional (work-matched across groups) weight-stack training (WS). Before and after training, muscle volume (MRI) and strength were assessed, and muscle biopsies were analysed for gene and protein expression of muscle growth regulators. Results: The increase in m. quadriceps volume was similar between FW and WS, yet was (averaged across legs) greater in ASA (7.5%) compared with IBU (3.7%, group difference 34 cm(3) ; P=0.029). In the WS leg, muscle strength improved similarly (11-20%) across groups. In the FW leg, increases (10-23%) in muscle strength were evident in both groups yet they were generally greater (interaction effects P<0.05) for ASA compared with IBU. While our molecular analysis revealed several training effects, the only group interaction (P<0.0001) arose from a down-regulated mRNA expression of IL-6 in IBU. Conclusion: Maximal over-the-counter doses of ibuprofen attenuate strength and muscle hypertrophic adaptations to 8 weeks of resistance training in young adults. Thus, young individuals using resistance training to maximise muscle growth or strength should avoid excessive intake of anti-inflammatory drugs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms by which post-exercise cold-water immersion (CWI) may alter key markers of mitochondrial biogenesis following both a single session and six weeks of sprint interval training (SIT). Nineteen males performed a single SIT session, followed by one of two 15-min recovery conditions: cold-water immersion (COLD; 10°C) or a passive room-temperature control (CON; 23°C). Sixteen of these participants also completed six weeks SIT, each session followed immediately by their designated recovery condition. Four muscle biopsies were obtained in total, three during the single SIT session (pre-exercise, post-recovery, and 3 h post-recovery), and one 48h after the last SIT session. Following a single SIT session, phosphorylated (p-) AMPK, p-p38 MAPK, p-p53 and PGC1α mRNA were all increased (P < 0.05). Post-exercise CWI had no effect on these responses. Consistent with the lack of a response following a single session, regular post-exercise CWI had no effect on PGC-1α or p53 protein content. Six weeks of SIT increased peak aerobic power, V̇O2peak, maximal uncoupled respiration (complexes I and II), and 2-km time-trial performance (P < 0.05). However, regular CWI had no effect on changes in these markers, consistent with the lack of response in the markers of mitochondrial biogenesis. While these observations suggest CWI is not detrimental to endurance adaptations following six weeks of SIT, they question whether post-exercise CWI is an effective strategy to promote mitochondrial biogenesis and improvements in endurance performance.
Article
Foam rolling (FR) is a common strategy used after training and competition by players. However, no previous studies have assessed the effectiveness of FR as recovery tool in sports populations. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of FR (20 minutes of foam rolling exercises on quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, gluteals, and gastrocnemius) and passive recovery (20 minutes sit on a bench) interventions performed immediately after a training session on Total Quality Recovery (TQR), perceived muscle soreness, jump performance, agility, sprint, and flexibility 24 hours after the training. During 2 experimental sessions, 18 professional soccer players (age 26.6 ± 3.3 years; height: 180.2 ± 4.5 cm; body mass: 75.8 ± 4.7 kg) participated in a randomized fully controlled trial design. The first session was designed to collect the pre-test values of each variable. After baseline measurements, the players performed a standardized soccer training. At the end of training unit, all the players were randomly assigned to the FR recovery group and the passive recovery group. A second experimental session was carried out to obtain the posttest values. Results from the between-group analyses showed that FR had a large effect on the recovery in agility (Effect Sizes [ES]= 1.06), TQR (ES= 1.08), and perceived muscle soreness (ES= 1.02) in comparison to passive recovery group at 24 h post-training. Thus, it is recommended soccer coaches and physical trainers working with high-level players use a structured recovery session lasting from 15 to 20 min based on FR exercises that could be implemented at the end of a training session to enhance recovery between training loads.
Article
Background: The use of recovery modalities to help enhance recovery is popular among athletes. However, little is known about the usage of various recovery modalities and the perception of their benefit amongst different level athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the usage and perceptual understanding of different recovery modalities between elite and amateur Rugby athletes. Methods: Fifty-eight amateur (n = 26) and elite (n = 32) Rugby union athletes completed a questionnaire designed to determine the usage and the perception of 15 different recovery modalities. A 5-point Likert scale was used to examine the perceived importance of recovery and effectiveness of each recovery modality. The number of different recovery modalities, and the number of times each player used each recovery modality per week was also obtained through the questionnaires. The total number of times an athlete used a recovery modality was calculated by summing the number of times each recovery modality was used per week. Results: No differences were found between groups (elite: 5.0. ±. 0.2; amateur: 4.9. ±. 0.3) for the perceived importance of recovery to enhance performance. When comparing the effectiveness of each recovery modality, the elite group perceived active recovery, massage, pool recovery, additional sleep and stretching to be significantly (p. <. 0.05) more effective in comparison to the amateur group. No significant differences were found for any other recovery modality. There was a significantly greater amount of recovery modalities used and also a higher frequency of use per week in the elite group (p. >. 0.05). Conclusion: Although no differences were found for the perception of the importance of recovery, elite Rugby athletes used significantly more recovery modalities and implemented recovery modalities more often in comparison to amateur Rugby athletes.