MUSCLE COOLING ONLY AFFECTS MUSCLE PERFORMANCE AT FASTER SPEEDS

Wilson, S. M., & Ecker, K. R. (2006). The influence of ice immersion on muscle force production, power, and total work in NCAA intercollegiate female athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2128.

"The influence of ice immersion on strength, power, and total work has shown to decrease peak power output, per one degree Celsius fall in muscle temperature". This study determined the effect of ice immersion on isokinetic muscle strength, power, and endurance of the quadriceps femoris muscle in NCAA intercollegiate female athletes.

Female athletes (N = 23), performed five maximal repetitions at 30 degrees per second and 60 dps, and 15 maximal repetitions at 180 dps on a standard Biodex machine. Between each velocity change, there was a 90-second rest period. Ss were placed on the isokinetic dynamometer for a familiarization period before testing. On the first day of the testing, Ss performed either the control or the experimental condition followed by knee extension and flexion exercises. The control condition consisted of a quiet activity, crossword puzzles, computer games, or reading with the investigator for 20 minutes. The experimental condition placed the Ss up to their gluteal fold in an ice immersion of 10C for 20 minutes. Strength, power, and total work of the quadriceps femoris after the quiet and ice immersion sessions were compared.

There were no significant differences between the testing conditions in strength, power, and total work at 30 or 60 degrees per second. However, as the joint movement increased to 180 degrees per second, there was a significant difference in strength, power, and total work following ice immersion when compared to the control.

Implication. Ice immersion decreased the isokinetic strength, power, and endurance of the quadriceps femoris in females as the joint of movement increased throughout knee extension and flexion. The use of ice to "cool the shoulder" of a baseball pitcher between innings could be detrimental to subsequent performance.

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