Warm-Up Intensity and Duration’s Effect on Traditional Rowing Time-Trial Performance

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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The warm-up procedure in traditional rowing usually involves continuous low-intensity rowing and short bouts of intense exercise, lasting about 60 min.

Purpose:

To compare the effects of a traditional and an experimental 30-min warm-up of lower intensity on indoor rowing time-trial performance.

Methods:

Fourteen highly trained male rowers (age 25.9 ± 5.3 y, height 1.86 ± 0.06 m, mass 80.4 ± 5.2 kg, peak aerobic power 352.0 ± 24.4 W; mean ± SD) performed 2 indoor rowing trials 12 d apart. Rowers were randomly assigned to either LONG or SHORT warm-ups using a crossover design, each followed by a 10-min all-out fixed-seat rowing-ergometer time trial.

Results:

Mean power output during the time trial was substantially higher after SHORT (322 ± 18 vs 316 ± 17 W), with rowers generating substantially more power in the initial 7.5 min of the time trial after SHORT. LONG elicited substantially higher mean warm-up heart rate than SHORT (134 ± 11 vs 121 ± 13 beats/min), higher pre–time-trial rating of perceived exertion (10.2 ± 1.4 vs 7.6 ± 1.7) and blood lactate (1.7 ± 0.4 mM vs 1.2 ± 0.2 mM), but similar heart rate (100 ± 14 vs 102 ± 9 beats/min). No substantial differences were observed between LONG and SHORT in stroke rate (39.4 ± 2.0 vs 39.4 ± 2.2 strokes/min) or mean heart rate (171 ± 6 vs 171 ± 8 beats/min) during the time trial, nor in blood lactate after it (11.8 ± 2.5 vs 12.1 ± 2.0 mM).

Conclusion:

A warm-up characterized by lower intensity and shorter duration should elicit less physiological strain and promote substantially higher power production in the initial stages of a rowing time trial.

Mujika is with the Dept of Physiology, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain. Maldonado-Martín is with the Dept of Physical Activity, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. de Txabarri is with Orio Arraunketa Elkartea, Orio, Basque Country, Spain. Pyne is with the Dept of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia.