Zadeh, M. H., Roshan, V. D., Babaei, H., Shirinbayan, V., & Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2012). In vs. out of water recovery methods, performance and inflammation response: A comparative study. Presentation 1341 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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Repeated swimming sprints are commonly used to develop anaerobic performance in swimmers. The ability to recover from each high intensity sprint bout is an important factor for eliciting the best neuromuscular adaptations in order to attain the highest possible speed for each repetition, and therefore the best performance.

This study compared the effects of in-water and out-of-water active recovery on cytokines (IL-6 and CRP), creatine kinase, lactate, and mean repeated sprint time. Male swimmers (N = 16) were assigned to a group experiencing either in-water vs. out-of-water recovery methods. Six 50-m sprint swims were performed with a 120-second rest interval of either recovery method. Measurements were done at baseline and after third and sixth sprint swim.

Serum IL-6, CRP, and lactate levels increased from baseline through the third and after the sixth swim in both groups. Creatine kinase level and the repeated sprint time (s) only increased in the out-of-water condition.

Implication. Inflammatory and muscle damage markers are not differentially affected by in-water and out-of-water recovery methods; however, out-of-water recovery might be associated with higher inflammatory responses. In-water recovery can improve swimming performance compared with out-water recovery at the same level of high-intensity.

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