Ice bag application, active warm-up, and 3 measures of maximal functional performance

J Athl Train. 2006 Oct-Dec;41(4):364-70.


Context: Research into the effects of ice on neuromuscular performance is limited, and the results sometimes conflict.

Objective: To examine the effects of ice bag application to the anterior thigh and active warm-up on 3 maximal functional performance tests.

Design: A 2 x 2 repeated-measures design with 4 randomly assigned treatment conditions: (1) no ice/no warm-up, (2) ice/ no warm-up, (3) no ice/warm-up, and (4) ice/warm-up.

Setting: Gymnasium with a wooden floor.

Patients or other participants: Twenty-four active, uninjured men, 18 to 24 years of age.

Intervention(s): For the ice application, we applied an ice bag with compression to the anterior thigh for 20 minutes. Warm-up (6.5 minutes) consisted of 3 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of stretching, and ten 2-legged vertical jumps.

Main outcome measure(s): Maximal performance of 3 functional fitness tests: single-leg vertical jump height, shuttle run time, and 40-yd (36.58-m) sprint time.

Results: Significant main effects were noted for both ice and warm-up for all functional tests, with a significant interaction (ice x warm-up) for the 40-yd sprint test. Ice bag application negatively affected performance on all 3 functional tests; warm-up significantly improved posticing performance. High-intensity maximal performance after ice bag application almost returned to the no ice/no warm-up pretreatment levels with the addition of active warm-up and time.

Conclusions: Ice bag application negatively affected performance of maximal high-intensity functional tests. Active warm-up and time for muscle warming after ice bag application decreased the detrimental effects of icing on functional performance.

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