Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 298 - 307   DOI:

Research article
Acute Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects of Different Warm-Up Protocols on Dynamic Apnea
Luca Vitali2, Milena Raffi1, Alessandro Piras1, 
Author Information
1 Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy
2 Department for Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna, Italy

Alessandro Piras
✉ Ph.D. Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Piazza di Porta S. Donato, 2, 40126 Bologna – Italy
Publish Date
Received: 04-02-2022
Accepted: 22-05-2022
Published (online): 01-06-2022
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute physiological response to different warm-up protocols on the dynamic apnea performance. The traditional approach, including a series of short-mid dives in water (WET warm-up), was compared to a more recent strategy, consisting in exercises performed outside the water (DRY warm-up). Nine athletes were tested in two different sessions, in which the only difference was the warm-up executed before 75m of dynamic apnea. Heart rate variability, baroreflex sensitivity, hemoglobin, blood lactate and the rate of perceived exertion were recorded and analyzed. With respect to WET condition, DRY showed lower lactate level before the dive (1.93 vs. 2.60 mmol/L, p = 0.006), higher autonomic indices and lower heart rate during the subsequent dynamic apnea. A significant correlation between lactate produced during WET with the duration of the subsequent dynamic apnea, suggests that higher lactate levels could affect the dive performance (72 vs. 70 sec, p = 0.028). The hemoglobin concentration and the rate of perceived exertion did not show significant differences between conditions. The present findings partially support the claims of freediving athletes who adopt the DRY warm-up, since it induces a more pronounced diving response, avoiding higher lactate levels and reducing the dive time of a dynamic apnea.

Key words: Breath-hold diving, freediving, warm-up, diving reflex

           Key Points
  • DRY warm-up showed lower lactate level with respect to the WET warm-up
  • DRY warm-up seems to induce a more pronounced diving response
  • When the dynamic apnoea is preceded by the DRY warm-up we found a greater cardiac autonomic regulation
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