PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of three different positions on rate of recovery during 1 minute running intervals. METHODS: Eight recreational athletes (age 33±4yrs; height 165±18cm; weight 74±16kg) attended 3 visits which included 6, 1 minute intervals at 110% of their VO2max speed interspersed with 1 minute recovery. Participants were allocated a different recovery protocol on each visit. The recovery positions were hands on knees (tripod), hands on head and active at a brisk walk (40% speed of VO2max). Gas analysis was monitored throughout. Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded at the completion of each exercise and rest phase. Blood lactate was measured pre warm-up, post warm-up and immediately post the interval session. Participants were also asked to give feedback in regards to which position they believed resulted in the most efficient recovery. RESULTS: There were no differences during the exercise between the different positions for HR, VO2, VCO2 or tidal volume. However, there were differences observed during the recovery stages between positions. There was a significant interaction observed for position and interval for HR (P<0.05), with HR being lowest for hands on knees during the recovery from intervals 3, 4 and 6. There was also a main effect for position during recovery, with the greatest HR being observed for active recovery (P<0.05). Active recovery produced the greatest VO2 and greatest VCO2 during recovery and also during exercise compared to the other 2 positions. There were no differences in VO2 and VCO2 between the 2 passive protocols (VALUES). Tidal volume was greatest during the active recovery, and there was a tendency for tidal volume to be greater during the hands on knees compared to the hands behind the head (P=0.1), with all participants showing greater tidal volume. Finally, six out of the eight participants perceived the hands on knees position to be the most efficient protocol for recovery and deemed the most comfortable. CONCLUSION: The active method was seen as an inefficient mode of recovery due to elevated HR through all stages. The hands on knees position was also superior in regards to VO2, VCO2 and tidal volume (VT) during rest in relation to the hands on head position. Potentially indicating more desirable ventilation mechanics; due to an improved length-tension relationship of the diaphragm and positioning of the accessory muscles. In regards to recovery hands on knees is superior but in respects to aiding subsequent performance it cannot be assumed it is better than the hands on head. It appears recovery position is highly individual and application is dependent on the sport in which it is being used.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2016
EventAmerican College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting - Hynes Convention Center & Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston , United States
Duration: 31 May 20164 Jun 2016


ConferenceAmerican College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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