The effects of contrast bathing and compression therapy on muscular performance

Duncan French, Kevin Thompson, Stephen Garland, Christopher Barnes, Matthew Portas, Peter Hood, Graeme Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Contrast bathing (CB) and compression garments (CG) are widely used to promote recovery. Purpose: To evaluate CB and CG as regeneration strategies after exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). Methods: Baseline values of muscle soreness, serum creatine kinase (CK) and myoglobin (Mb), joint range of motion, limb girth, 10- or 30-m sprint, countermovement jump (CMJ), and five repetition maximum squat were completed by 26 young men who then undertook a resistance exercise challenge (REC) to induce EIMD: 6 × 10 parallel squats at 100% body weight with 5-s one repetition maximum eccentric squat superimposed onto each set. After the REC, subjects were separated into three intervention groups: CB, CG, and control (CONT). Forty-eight hours after REC, the subjects exercise performance was reassessed. CK and Mb were also measured +1, +24, and +48 h post-REC. Results: CK was elevated at +24 h ([up arrow]140%; [up arrow]161%; [up arrow]270%), and Mb was elevated at +1 h ([up arrow]523%; [up arrow]458%; [up arrow]682%) in CB, CG, and CONT. Within-group large effect sizes for loge[CK] were found for CB at +24 h (0.80) and +48 h (0.84). Area under the [Mb] curve was lower in CB compared with CG and CONT (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1306
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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