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Hot water immersion; potential to improve intermittent running performance and perception of in-game running ability in semi-professional Australian Rules Footballers?

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Philp, CP, Pitchford, NW ORCID: 0000-0003-3169-9347, Fell, JW ORCID: 0000-0001-6094-9865, Kitic, CM, Buchheit, M, Petersen, AC, Minson, CT, Visentin, DC ORCID: 0000-0001-9961-4384 and Watson, G ORCID: 0000-0002-3438-0203 2022 , 'Hot water immersion; potential to improve intermittent running performance and perception of in-game running ability in semi-professional Australian Rules Footballers?' , PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 2 , pp. 1-16 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263752.

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Abstract

This study investigated whether hot water immersion (HWI) could heat acclimate athletes and improve intermittent running performance and perception of in-game running ability, during a competitive Australian Rules Football (ARF) season. Fifteen male semi-professional ARF athletes (Mean (SD); age: 22 (3) years, height: 182.3 (6.5) cm, mass: 80.5 (5.1) kg) completed either HWI (HEAT, N = 8, 13 (2) sessions, 322 (69) min exposure, 39.5 (0.3) °C) or acted as a control (CON, N = 7, no water immersion) over 6-weeks. Athletes completed a 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test pre and post-intervention to assess intermittent running performance (VIFT), with perception of in-game running ability measured. Heat acclimation was determined via change in resting plasma volume, as well as physiological and perceptual responses during HWI. HEAT elicited large PV expansion (mean ± 90% CI: d = 1.03 ± 0.73), large decreases in heart rate (d = -0.89 ± 0.70), thermal sensation (d = -2.30 ± 1.15) and tympanic temperature (d = -1.18 ± 0.77). Large improvements in VIFT were seen in HEAT (d = 1.67 ± 0.93), with HEAT showing a greater improvement in VIFT when compared to CON (d = 0.81 ± 0.88). HEAT also showed greater belief that in-game running ability improved post-intervention (d = 2.15 ± 1.09) compared to CON. A 6-week HWI intervention can elicit heat acclimation, improve perception of in-game running ability, and potentially improve VIFT in semi-professional ARF athletes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Philp, CP and Pitchford, NW and Fell, JW and Kitic, CM and Buchheit, M and Petersen, AC and Minson, CT and Visentin, DC and Watson, G
Keywords: heat acclimation, intermittent running performance, team-sport athletes, plasma volume, belief
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263752
Copyright Information:

Copyright: © 2022 Wilson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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