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Autumn Adams1, Rustin Hiebert1, and Keith Pfannenstiel1 1University of Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas

A technique that has emerged in the past couple of years for improving recovery is contrast water therapy. This entails alternating submergence of the body in hot and cold water. Athletes are currently using recovery techniques like this one as an attempt to offset the negative effects of exercise-induced muscle damage. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of contrast water therapy on recovery and performance. METHODS: Twenty recreationally trained male subjects (21.25±0.91 yr) were randomly assigned to either the passive recovery group (CON) or the contrast water therapy group (CWT). Each participant completed a total of 3 testing sessions. Following a familiarization session, subjects completed a 10-minute dynamic warm-up followed by a maximal effort 30-meter sprint and a countermovement vertical jump with a 5-minute rest period between each test. Once baseline values were collected, participants completed a high-intensity lower body workout on an isokinetic dynamometer. When finished with the high-intensity lower body workout, CON was asked to refrain from any recovery applications while CWT completed a contrast water therapy protocol. The protocol involved alternating lower extremity immersion into a tub at 38° Celsius for one minute and then transitioning to another tub that was 10° Celsius for one minute. This was repeated three times for a total of 6 minutes. Once completed with the water contrast therapy, subjects were asked to refrain from any additional recovery application. All subjects returned 24 hours later and completed a maximal effort 30-meter sprint and a countermovement vertical jump. RESULTS: No significant differences (p> 0.05) were seen between groups for the countermovement vertical jump or the 30-meter sprint 24 hours following the recovery application. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that in young recreationally trained males, CWT performed immediately after a high-intensity lower body workout, was no more effective than passive recovery on performance 24 hours post-exercise.

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