Non-invasive Assessments of Subjective and Objective Recovery Characteristics Following an Exhaustive Jump Protocol

Hohenauer, Erich and Clarys, Peter and Baeyens, Jean Pierre and Clijsen, Ron (2017) Non-invasive Assessments of Subjective and Objective Recovery Characteristics Following an Exhaustive Jump Protocol. Journal of Visualized Experiments.

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Abstract

Fast recovery after strenuous exercise is important in sports and is often studied via cryotherapy applications. Cryotherapy has a significant vasoconstrictive effect, which seems to be the leading factor in its effectiveness. The resulting enhanced recovery can be measured by using both objective and subjective parameters. Two commonly measured subjective characteristics of recovery are delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Two important objective recovery characteristics are countermovement jump (CMJ)performance and peak power output (PPO). Here, we provide a detailed protocol to induce muscular exhaustion of the frontal thighs with a self-paced, 3 x 30 countermovement jump protocol (30-s rest between each set). This randomized controlled trial protocol explains how to perform local cryotherapy cuff application (+ 8 °C for 20 min) and thermoneutral cuff application (+ 32 °C for 20 min) on both thighs as two possible post-exercise recovery modalities. Finally, we provide a non-invasive protocol to measure the effects of these two recovery modalities on subjective (i.e., DOMS of both frontal thighs and RPE) and objective recovery (i.e., CMJ and PPO) characteristics 24, 48, and 72 h postapplication. The advantage of this method is that it provides a tool for researchers or coaches to induce muscular exhaustion, without using any expensive devices; to implement local cooling strategies; and to measure both subjective and objective recovery, without using invasive methods. Limitations of this protocol are that the 30 s rest period between sets is very short, and the cardiovascular demand is very high. Future studies may find the assessment of maximum voluntary contractions to be a more sensitive assessment of muscular exhaustion compared to CMJs.

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