UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Novel recovery strategies for elite athletic performance Buschmann, Lauren Kathryn


Background: Recovery strategies aim to reduce the inflammatory response that occurs following exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD) via increased venous return. Available research is contradictory regarding whether recovery strategies are effective in reducing recovery time and improving subsequent athletic performance. As a result, further research is warranted. Purpose: To determine which application is effective in accelerating recovery for athletes following eccentric exercise, and maintaining performance. Hypothesis: We hypothesized that the VIP and CWT will be more effective compared to placebo and NormaTec conditions in facilitating recovery. Methods: 24 highly trained participants were tested over five test sessions. Participants underwent measures of VJ, 10m/30m sprints, HRV, VAS and Leg Girth. Participants underwent 100 repetitions of a plyometric drop jump and were then randomly assigned into four conditions: 1) Contrast water therapy (CWT, n=6), 2) Variable intermittent pressure (VIP, n=6), 3) NormaTec IPC (NormaTec, n= 6), 4) Passive Recovery/ Placebo (Placebo, n=6). Perception of recovery was analyzed using a Likert recovery questionnaire. Follow-up measures of outcome variables occurred at 24, 48 and 72 hr. Statistics: Two-way mixed model ANOVA was used to assess between groups and repeated measures. Tukey’s HSD was used when necessary. Results: CWT demonstrated 4.4% increase in mean VJ @ 72 hr (p > 0.05). VIP demonstrated performance maintenance for VJ and sprint measures (p > 0.05). VIP demonstrated significantly (p < 0.05) elevated VAS scores compared to CWT for stand to sit, maximal quadriceps contraction, passive quadriceps stretch and total pain scores at 72 hr post-exercise. VIP VAS scores were also significantly (p < 0.05) elevated for the NormaTec and Placebo at 72 hr post-exercise for some movements. No other statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) occurred between groups at any time point for any other outcome measures. Conclusion: CWT and VIP appear to be beneficial in facilitating recovery and the maintenance of performance following strenuous exercise compared to placebo and NormaTec conditions. There appear to be differences in subjective perceptions of muscle soreness reflecting the differences in recovery strategy methodologies. Further research is warranted to determine the underlying mechanisms responsible for facilitating recovery and maintaining physical performance.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada