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Effect of specific experimental variables on recovery rate of the heart of varsity ice hockey players Chambers, David Lee

Abstract

The purposes of the study were: (i) to determine if the recovery rate of ice hockey players is affected by elevation of the legs, massage, and controlled breathing; (ii) to determine the length of recovery time needed for a one-half, one, and one and one-half minute skating period; and (iii) to compare the subjective recovery time with the calculated recovery half-time. One junior varsity and three varsity ice hockey players at the University of British Columbia began the study six weeks after the hockey training season began. Two subjects acted as controls and two subjects acted as experimentals. The testing of both the experimentals and controls was done in three parts. The first part consisted of one-half minute skates, the second part one minute skates, and the third part one and one-half minute skates. Each subject took four separate days to complete each part. On each day he repeated the prescribed skate three times, with rest periods of four and one-half minutes between skates, and a five minute rest period before the first skate. The control group recovered in the normal sitting position for each of the three parts of the experiment, while the experimental group varied the method of recovery using the normal sitting position, massage, elevation of the legs and controlled breathing in each of the three parts of the experiment. The control group was used to determine recovery times in the normal sitting position and to determine if there was any progressive improvement in the recovery time due to conditioning. The subjects also made a subjective estimate of when they felt they had recovered. The study found that there was no pattern of improving recovery times with the two control subjects. The mean recovery half-times ranged from: fifty-three seconds to one minute and forty-two seconds for the one-half minute skate; one minute and nine seconds to one minute and forty-eight seconds for the one minute skate; and one minute and eighteen seconds to two minutes and twelve seconds for the one and one-half minute skate. In every skating session with the two experimental subjects, elevation of the legs produced the lowest mean recovery half-times of the four different recovery methods. Subjects L.B. and K.M. both showed a significant difference between the mean recovery half-times of the normal sitting and elevation of the legs at the five per cent level of confidence for the one-half minute skates and subject K.M. showed a significant difference at the five per cent level of confidence in the one and one-half minute skate. The controlled breathing method of recovery produced mean recovery half-times that were lower than normal sitting mean recovery half-times in every skating period. However, the mean recovery half-times for controlled breathing were not as low as the mean recovery half-times for elevation of the legs. The massage method of recovery produced greater mean recovery half-times compared to the normal sitting recovery method in each skating time period with only one exception. In all skating sessions with one exception, the third trial recovery half-time was greater than the first trial recovery half-time. Generally, the subjective recovery times were closer to the calculated recovery half-times with the one-half and one minute skates than with the one and one-half minute skates.

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