Effect of Aerobic Recovery Intensity on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Strength

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Tufano, JJ, Brown, LE, Coburn, JW, Tsang, KKW, Cazas, VL, and LaPorta, JW. Effect of aerobic recovery intensity on delayed-onset muscle soreness and strength. J Strength Cond Res 26(10): 2777–2782, 2012—Because of the performance decrements associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), a treatment to alleviate its symptoms is of great interest. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of low vs. moderate-intensity aerobic recovery on DOMS and strength. Twenty-six women (22.11 ± 2.49 years; 60.33 ± 8.37 kg; and 163.83 ± 7.29 cm) were split into 3 different groups and performed a DOMS-inducing protocol of 60 eccentric actions of the knee extensors followed by 1 of three 20-minute recovery interventions: moderate-intensity cycling (n = 10), low-intensity cycling (LIC; n = 10), or seated rest (CON; n = 6) after the eccentric protocol. Pain scale (PS), isometric strength (ISO), and dynamic strength (PT) were recorded before (PRE), immediately post (IP), 24- (24h), 48- (48h), 72- (72h), and 96- (96h) hours after exercise. For PT, PRE, 48h, 72h, and 96h were significantly (p < 0.05) greater than IP values but not different from 24h. For PS, IP (4.83 ± 0.36) was greater than that for all other time periods, whereas 24h (2.91 ± 0.42), 48h (2.62 ± 0.53), and 72h (1.97 ± 0.49) were all greater than PRE (0.44 ± 0.19) values. Also, 24h and 48h were not different but were both greater than 72h and 96h (1.13 ± 0.32), whereas 72h was >96h. For ISO, neither CON nor LIC showed any significant difference across time. Moderate-intensity cycling showed no difference between PRE (189.88 ± 40.68), IP (193.75 ± 47.24), 24h (186.52 ± 53.55), or 48h (195.36 ± 55.06), but 72h (210.05 ± 53.57) and 96h (207.78 ± 59.99) were significantly >24h. The 72h was also greater than IP. Therefore, moderate-intensity aerobic recovery may be suggested after eccentric muscle actions.

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