Loughborough University
Final-Revised MSSE Submission with figures.pdf (609.09 kB)

Reducing muscle temperature drop post warm-up improves sprint cycling performance

Download (609.09 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2012-09-06, 08:43 authored by Steve Faulkner, Richard FergusonRichard Ferguson, Nicola Gerrett, Maarten Hupperets, Simon HodderSimon Hodder, George HavenithGeorge Havenith
PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine the effect of passive insulation versus external heating during recovery following a sprint specific warm up on thigh muscle temperature and subsequent maximal sprint performance. METHODS: On three separate occasions, 11 male cyclists (age 24.7 ± 4.2 years, height 1.82 ± 0.72m, body mass 77.9 ± 9.8 kg; mean ± S.D.) completed a standardized 15 min intermittent warm up on a cycle ergometer, followed by a 30 min passive recovery period before completing a 30 sec maximal sprint test. Muscle temperature was measured in the vastus lateralis at 1, 2 and 3 cm depth prior to and following the warm up and immediately before the sprint test. Absolute and relative peak power output was determined and blood lactate concentration was measured immediately post-exercise. During the recovery period participants wore a tracksuit top and either i) standard tracksuit pants (CONT); ii) insulated athletic pants (INS) or; iii) insulated athletic pants with integrated electric heating elements (HEAT). RESULTS: Warm up increased Tm by approximately 2.5°C at all depths, with no differences between conditions. During recovery, Tm remained elevated in HEAT compared to INS and CONT at all depths (p<0.001). Both peak and relative power output were elevated by 9.6% and 9.1% respectively in HEAT compared to CONT (both p<0.05). The increase in blood lactate concentration was greater (p<0.05) post sprint in HEAT (6.3 ± 1.8 mmol/L) but not INS (4.0 ± 1.8 mmol/L) vs. CONT (4.1 ± 1.9 mmol/L). CONCLUSION: Passive heating of the thighs between warm up completion and performance execution using pants incorporating electrically heated pads can attenuate the decline in Tm and improve sprint cycling performance.


The current research was co-funded by Adidas Innovation Team, Germany, and the Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, Loughborough University, UK



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


FAULKNER, S.H. ... et al., 2012. Reducing muscle temperature drop after warm-up improves sprint cycling performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 45 (2), pp.359-365.


© The American College of Sports Medicine


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date



This article is a non-final version of an article published in final form in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [© The American College of Sports Medicine] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31826fba7f




  • en

Usage metrics

    Loughborough Publications


    Ref. manager