The impact of passive heat maintenance strategies between an active warm-up and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Gavin Cowper*, Stuart Goodall, Kirsty Hicks, Louise Burnie, Marc Briggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Prior to exercise, a warm-up routine has been suggested to be an imperative factor in task readiness with the anticipation that it will enhance performance. One of the key benefits of a warm-up is the increase in muscle and core temperature, which can be achieved in a variety of ways. An effective way to achieve improvements in core and muscle temperature is by performing an active warm-up. However, lengthy transition periods between an active warm-up and exercise performance are known to cause a decline in core and muscle temperature, thereby reducing performance capability. As such, methods are needed to assist athletes during transition periods, to maintain the benefits of a warm-up with the aim of optimising performance. Accordingly, the purpose of this review is to systematically analyse the evidence base that has investigated the use of passive heating to aide sporting performance when a transition period is experienced. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken following relevant studies being identified using PubMed, Web of Science, and EBSCO. Studies investigating the effects of passive heating strategies during the transition period between an active warm-up and exercise performance were included. The quality of the included studies were assessed by two independent reviewers using a modified version of the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Results: Seven studies, all high quality (mean = 7.6), reported sufficient data (quality score > 5) on the effects of passive heating strategies on exercise performance, these studies consisted of 85 well-trained athletes (78 male and 7 female). Passive heating strategies used between an active warm-up and exercise, significantly increased peak power output in all studies (ES = 0.54 [95% CI 0.17 to 0.91]). However, only a favourable trend was evident for exercise performance (ES = 1.07 [95% CI − 0.64 to 0.09]). Conclusions: Based upon a limited number of well-conducted, randomised, controlled trials, it appears that passive heating strategies used between an active warm-up and exercise have a positive impact on peak power output. Although, additional research is necessary to determine the optimum procedure for passive warm-up strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number154
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2022

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