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No Effect of Partial-Body Cryotherapy on Restoration of Countermovement-Jump or Well-Being Performance in Elite Rugby Union Players During the Competitive Phase of the Season

Adam Grainger, Paul Comfort, Shane Heffernan Orcid Logo

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Pages: 1 - 23

Swansea University Author: Shane Heffernan Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Purpose:Partial body cryotherapy (PBC) has been shown to be beneficial for post-exercise recovery, however, no study has demonstrated the effectiveness of PBC as a recovery modality following elite rugby union (RU) training. RU is a unique sport that involves high velocity collisions with minimal pr...

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Published in: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
ISSN: 1555-0265 1555-0273
Published: 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa51436
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Abstract: Purpose:Partial body cryotherapy (PBC) has been shown to be beneficial for post-exercise recovery, however, no study has demonstrated the effectiveness of PBC as a recovery modality following elite rugby union (RU) training. RU is a unique sport that involves high velocity collisions with minimal protective wear and may represent a situation that could induce greater performance decrements than other sports, thus PBC could be beneficial. The application of PBC in ‘real-world’, as opposed to the laboratory setting, has rarely been investigated during the competitive phase of a playing season and warranted investigation.Methods:In a counterbalanced sequential research design, professional rugby athletes (n = 18, age, 25.4 ± 4.0 years; training age, 7.2 ± 4.0 years; mass, 99.8 ± 10.6 kg and height 188.3 ± 6.0 cm) were assigned to a 12-week PBC intervention, washout period (4 weeks) and reassessed as their own controls. Total self-reported well-being, muscle soreness, sleep quality and countermovement jump (CMJ) height were assessed pre and 40 hours post ‘real world’ training (field and gym). Wilcoxon signed rank tests and Cohen’s d were used for statistical analysis.Results:No differences were observed in the PBC or control conditions (p > 0.05; d 0.00-0.14) for well-being (-0.02 ± 0.08% vs. 0.01 ± 0.06%), muscle soreness (-0.01 ± 0.11% vs. 0.01 ± 0.16%), sleep quality (-0.03 ± 0.14% vs 0.10 ± 0.29%) or CMJ height (36.48 to 36.59 vs 38.13 to 37.52 cm; p = 0.54).Conclusions:These results suggest that the administration of PBC is ineffective at enabling the restoration of selected performance parameters during the performance maintenance phase of the competitive season. To ascertain the appropriation of its use, future investigations should seek to assess the use of cryotherapies at various phases of the elite rugby union competitive season.
Keywords: Cold therapy; restoration of performance; countermovement jump; applied rugby physiology; real-world performance; elite athletes
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Start Page: 1
End Page: 23