Effect of Whole-, Upper-, and Lower-Body High-Intensity Rowing Exercise on Skin Temperature Measured by Thermography

Res Q Exerc Sport. 2023 Mar;94(1):226-236. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2021.1964696. Epub 2022 Mar 24.


Purpose: Despite the growing works analyzing exercise-induced thermoregulatory adjustments through thermography, the skin temperature (Tsk) response of the same muscle groups underwent to different exercise demands has not been investigated. This study analyzed the behavior of Tsk of the same muscle groups when exercised with different demands in rowing. Methods: Eighteen men underwent three performance tests on a rowing ergometer: whole-body 2,000 m test (RTWB), upper-body (RTUB), and lower-body (RTLB) tests. In each condition, thermograms were recorded before (pre), immediately after test (post), and at 10 (REC10), 20 (REC20), and 30 (REC30) minutes post-exercise recovery. Tsk was measured at the pectoral (control body region), upper back, quadriceps, brachial biceps, and forearm. Results: Pectoral-Tsk reduced comparably in response to all testing conditions (p < .05). Upper back-Tsk decreased post (p < .001) and returned to baseline in the RTUB (REC10, p = 1.0) and RTWB (REC30, p = .128), while remained reduced in the RTLB (p < .001). Quadriceps-Tsk reduced post (p < .05) and returned to baseline in the RTWB and RTLB at REC10 (p = 1.0), remaining reduced in the RTUB during recovery (p < .05). Regarding the upper limbs, Tsk increased more markedly in the RTUB versus RTWB during the recovery period (p < .05); in the RTLB, biceps-Tsk remained below baseline over time (p < .05), whereas the forearm-Tsk was restored at REC10 (p = 1.0). Conclusion: Manipulating the muscle groups involved in rowing alters the Tsk response within equal ROI. Exercise-induced Tsk changes can reflect local hemodynamic and thermoregulatory adjustments.

Keywords: Body temperature; thermography; thermoregulation.

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Skin Temperature*
  • Thermography
  • Water Sports*