Positive pressure ventilation improves exercise performance and attenuates the fall of post-exercise inspiratory muscular strength in rower’s athletes

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Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) can increase exercise performance in cyclists, but its effects are unclear in other exercise modes, especially those using large muscle mass. The aim of the present study was to compare the exercise performance and post-exercise inspiratory muscles' strength with and without PPV (NO-PPV) during rowing. Nine male rowers (19 ± 1 years) participated in three experimental days (M1, M2, and M3) separated by one week. In M1, rowers performed a 2,000 m test (2k) on a rowing ergometer to obtain average power (W2k). In M2 and M3, the rowers performed four minutes' workouts at 55%, 65%, 75%, and 85%W2k, respectively, separated by one minute of recovery, with PPV and NO-PPV application in randomized order. Blood lactate (Lac) was measured during intervals. After submaximal exercises, with 10 min of “cool down,”the rowers performed a maximal performance test of four minutes (4- min all-out rowing). Traveled distance was computed and correlated with maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) changes from pre- to post-test (Δ). PPV application increased the traveled distance in relation to NO-PPV exercise (1210.7 ± 45.5 vs. 1199.8 ± 43.4 m, p < 0.05). The ΔMIP (cmH2O) was lower in PPV as compared with NO-PPV exercise (−19.1 ± 10.2 vs. −26.3 ± 7.9 cmH2O, p < 0.05). The [La] showed no significant difference between PPV and NO-PPV exercises (p > 0.05). Therefore, the PPV during whole body rowing exercise improved the exercise performance and attenuated the inspiratory post-exercise fatigue. These findings suggest that inspiratory muscles strength plays a role during high-intensity exercise with large muscle mass.

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