Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Effects of Far Infrared Heat on Recovery in Power Athletes

Effects of Far Infrared Heat on Recovery in Power Athletes

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the far infrared (FIR) heat on the recovery of the power athletes during the 5-day intensive training period. Methods: The experimental group acted also as its own control group and it consisted of ten national level male athletes (22.3 ± 4.5 years) from power events. Training consisted of strength-, power-, and technique sessions. Performance tests included isometric strength tests, a countermovement jump (CMJ) and a Wingate 30 s test. Serum concentration of testosterone, cortisol, sex hormone binding globulin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and creatinekinase were analysed. During the experimental condition the participants used whole body infrared bag (40 min at temperature of 50 ºC) every evening on consecutive four days. Results: CMJ height (p ≤ 0.05) and peak power in the Wingate test (p ≤ 0.05) were greater after the experimental condition. The increase in the testosterone/cortisol (T/C) ratio between the preand post-measurements was significantly greater (p ≤ 0.05) during the experimental condition than during the control condition. Conclusions: The present study indicates that the FIR heat improves recovery of the neuromuscular performance during the 5-day intensive training period associated with the increase in the T/C ratio. Improved recovery can enable harder training and can further accelerate athletic development. FIR heat provides a useful tool to accelerate recovery, but it does not replace other strong recovery supporting modalities like nutrition, sleep, and muscle massage.

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