[RESEARCH] Upside Down Recovery | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

[RESEARCH] Upside Down Recovery

Upside Down Recovery - themanualtherapist.com

Upside Down Recovery - Does it Work?

Many recreational cyclists try to speed recovery after intense exercise by lying upside-down. This is thought to speed up physical recovery and enhance subsequent exercise performance. Gentilin et al. (2021), investigated the effectiveness of this technique among a group of active cyclists.

  • 25 active cyclists (10 females/15 males) tested upside down recovery vs. upright, randomly, in a two-day cross-over protocol.
  • All performed a supra-maximal 45-sec Wingate test.
  • Then took a 7-min recovery period at +45° angle or -20° of inclination.
  • Then repeated the supra-maximal 45-sec Wingate test.
Recovery effectiveness was assessed via:
  • The percentage decline of post- compared to pre-recovery Wingate performance.
  • Kinetics of Lactate.
  • Heart rate (HR).
  • Average blood pressure (MBP).
7 subjects (5 males, 2 females) did not complete the +45° protocol due to pre-syncopal symptoms.

Upside-down vs. Standing recovery:
  • Did not change the subsequent Wingate performance.
  • Faster HR decline.
  • Cyclists perceived better recovery.
  • Did not change the kinetics of lactate clearance.
  • Prevented the MBP fall.

  • Among subjects who fully completed the protocol, the upside-down recovery did not enhance subsequent exercise performance, despite the faster HR decline and personal feeling of greater recovery.
  • Upside-down compared to standing recovery may be associated with a good feeling of attenuation of post-exercise hypotension symptoms.
  • This data suggest being cautious in basing the assessment of the athlete's recovery exclusively on the post-exercise kinetics of the HR.

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Gentilin et al. 2021. Post-exercise upside-down recovery does accelerate the heart rate recovery but does not improve subsequent sprint performance. J Spot Med & Phys Fit.

Dalton Urrutia, MSc PT

Dalton is a Physical Therapist from Oregon, currently living and running the performance physiotherapy clinic he founded in London for Grapplers and Strength & Conditioning athletes. Dalton runs the popular instagram account @physicaltherapyresearch, where he posts easy summaries of current and relevant research on health, fitness, and rehab topics. 
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