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
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 164 - 169

Research article
Comparison of Active and Electrostimulated Recovery Strategies After Fatiguing Exercise
Marc Vanderthommen , Souleyma Makrof, Christophe Demoulin
Author Information
Liege University, 4000 Liege, Belgium

Marc Vanderthommen
✉ Liege University, ISEPK (B21), Allée des Sports 4, B-4000 Liege, Belgium
Email: mvanderthommen@ulg.ac.be
Publish Date
Received: 20-06-2009
Accepted: 24-12-2009
Published (online): 01-06-2010
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare an electrostimulated to an active recovery strategy after a submaximal isometric fatiguing exercise. Nineteen healthy men completed three sessions (separated by at least 4 weeks) which included a knee extensors provocation exercise consisting of 3 sets of 25 isometric contractions. Contraction intensity level was fixed respectively at 60%, 55% and 50% of previously determined maximal voluntary contraction for the first, second and third sets. This provocation exercise was followed by either an active (AR) recovery (25 min pedaling on a cycle ergometer), an electrostimulated (ESR) recovery (25-min continuous and non-tetanic (5 Hz) stimulation of the quadriceps) or a strictly passive recovery (PR). Peak torques of knee extensors and subjective perception of muscle pain (VAS, 0-10) were evaluated before (pre-ex), immediately after the provocation exercise (post-ex), after the recovery period (post-rec), as well as 75 minutes (1h15) and one day (24h) after the exercise bout. Time course of peak torque was similar among the different recovery modes: ~ 75% of initial values at post-ex, ~ 90% at post-rec and at 1h15. At 24h, peak torque reached a level close to baseline values (PR: 99.1 ± 10.7%, AR: 105.3 ± 12.2%, ESR: 104.4 ± 10.5%). VAS muscle pain scores decreased rapidly between post-ex and post-rec (p < 0.001); there were no significant differences between the three recovery modes (p = 0.64). In conclusion, following a submaximal isometric knee extension exercise, neither electrostimulated nor active recovery strategies significantly improved the time course of muscle function recovery.

Key words: Electrical stimulation, muscle recovery, isometric contraction, muscle fatigue


           Key Points
  • Three sets of submaximal isometric contractions at 60%, 55% and 50% of MVC induced an early fatigue without DOMS but did not lead to exhaustion.
  • In comparison with passive recovery, active and electrostimulated recovery did not lead to significantly higher MVC torques 24h after the exercise bout.
  • No significant differences were demonstrated between the effects of passive, active and electrostimulated recoveries on muscle pain after repeated submaximal isometric contractions.
 
 
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