Acute Effects of Partial-Body Cryotherapy on Isometric Strength: Maximum Handgrip Strength Evaluation

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De Nardi, M, Pizzigalli, L, Benis, R, Caffaro, F, and Cremasco, MM. Acute effects of partial-body cryotherapy on isometric strength: maximum handgrip strength evaluation. J Strength Cond Res 31(12): 3497–3502, 2017—The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of a single partial-body cryotherapy (PBC) session on the maximum handgrip strength (JAMAR Hydraulic Hand dynamometer). Two hundred healthy adults were randomized into a PBC group and a control group (50 men and 50 women in each group). After the initial handgrip strength test (T0), the experimental group performed a 150-second session of PBC (temperature range between −130 and −160° C), whereas the control group stayed in a thermo neutral room (22.0 ± 0.5° C). Immediately after, both groups performed another handgrip strength test (T1). Data underlined that both groups showed an increase in handgrip strength values, especially the experimental group (Control: T0 = 39.48 kg, T1 = 40.01 kg; PBC: T0 = 39.61 kg, T1 = 41.34 kg). The analysis also reported a statistical effect related to gender (F = 491.99, P ≤ 0.05), with women showing lower handgrip strength values compared with men (women = 30.43 kg, men = 52.27 kg). Findings provide the first evidence that a single session of PBC leads to the improvement of muscle strength in healthy people. The results of the study imply that PBC could be performed also before a training session or a sport competition, to increase hand isometric strength.

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