Effect of two recovery methods on repeated closed-handed and open-handed weight-assisted pull-ups

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 May;26(5):1348-52. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318231a610.


The purpose of this study was to examine 2 recovery modalities (with and without an ice bag treatment) on closed-handed and open-handed weight-assisted pull-ups in recreationally-trained rock climbers. Healthy and recreationally active volunteers (n = 9) completed 4 counterbalanced trials separated by 72 hours. Trials included 3 sets of closed-handed and open-handed weight-assisted pull-ups supported by 50% of body weight, until failure. Between each set, participants sat quietly in a chair and engaged in approximately 20 minutes of either passive or ice bag treatment. Ice bags were placed on the participants' arms and shoulders. Heart rate (HR), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), session-RPE (S-RPE), and perceived recovery were also assessed. Hand-grip strength pretrial and posttrial was not different between ice bag conditions. Also, there were no differences between treatments for HR, RPE, perceived recovery, S-RPE, or comfort ratings. The overall number of open-handed pull-ups (mean ± SD = 19 ± 5) was lower than closed-handed pull-ups (34 ± 14; p < 0.001). Ice bag recovery attenuated the decrease in open-handed pull-up performance for sets 2 (22 ± 5; p = 0.004) and 3 (22 ± 5; p = 0.003) relative to set 3 using passive recovery only (i.e., no ice bag; 17 ± 6). There were no differences (p = 0.31) between treatments for closed-handed pull-ups. The findings support the recommendations to use ice bags for recovery between bouts of rock climbing that involve a predominantly open-handed grip to maintain performance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mountaineering / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Young Adult