It has been demonstrated that body cooling may decrease neuromuscular performance. However, the effect of a single session of whole body cryotherapy (-110°C) on neuromuscular performance has not been well documented. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single exposure of WBC on elbow flexor neuromuscular performance. Thirteen physically active, healthy young men (age=27.9±4.2 years, mass=79.4±9.7 kg, height=176.7±5.2 cm) were randomly exposed to 2 different experimental conditions separated by a minimum of 72 h: 1) whole body cryotherapy- 3 min at -110°C; 2) control- 3 min at 21°C. All subjects were tested for maximal isokinetic elbow flexion at 60°.s(-1) 30 min before and 10 min after each condition. There were no significant differences in peak torque, average power, total work or muscle activity between conditions. Peak torque was lower at post-test compared to pre-test in both conditions (F=6.58, p=0.025). However, there were no differences between pre-test and post-test for any other variables. These results indicate that strength specialists, athletic trainers and physical therapists might utilize whole body cryotherapy before training or rehabilitation without compromising neuromuscular performance of the elbow flexors.
Int J Sports Med. 2014 Dec;35(14):1179-83. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1374602. Epub 2014 Sep 25.