Comparison of Recovery Strategies on Muscle Performance After Fatiguing Exercise.

Mika, Anna;  Mika, Piotr;  Fernhall, Bo;  Unnithan, Viswanath B.

The objective of this study was to assess the influence of different relaxation modes: stretching (ST), active recovery (AR), and passive recovery (PR) on muscle relaxation after dynamic exercise of the quadriceps femoris. Ten healthy male volunteers between 24 and 38 yrs of age participated in this study. After the warm-up, subjects performed three sets of dynamic leg extension and flexion at 50% of previously determined maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), with 30 secs of rest between sets. Immediately after completing the leg exercise, one of the relaxation methods was applied, in a randomized order (AR, PR, ST). Then, subjects performed isometric knee extension at 50% of MVC to the point of fatigue, and surface electromyogram (EMG) of the vastus lateralis muscle was measured.  The results of this study suggest that the most appropriate and effective recovery mode after dynamic muscle fatigue involves light, active exercises, such as cycling with minimal resistance.

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2007, 86, 6, 474-481.

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