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Comparison of intermittent pneumatic compression and active recovery after sub-maximal aerobic exercise in collegiate soccer players: in relation with heart rate variability and heart rate recovery



The present study aimed to investigate the effect of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) and active recovery on heart rate recovery (HRR), heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) after sub-maximal aerobic exercise in collegiate soccer players.


Fifteen male collegiate soccer players aged between 18 and 25 years were recruited in this cross-over study design with two groups (IPC and Active recovery group). Subjects were performed with an incremental treadmill test at sub-maximal intensity followed by 15 min of recovery methods (IPC or active recovery). After sub-maximal exercise testing, heart rate recovery at the first minute (HRR1) and second minute (HRR2) were observed. Heart rate, HRV, BP and RPE measures were taken before the exercise and 25 min of post-sub-maximal exercise.


HRR1 and HRR2 showed a significant difference between IPC and active recovery (p < 0.001). Time-domain and frequency-domain measures of HRV showed only significant time effect (p ≤ 0.04), whereas group effect and time × group interaction were found to be non-significant. There was a significant time effect (p = 0.04), group effect (p = 0.003) and time × group interaction (p = 0.01) for systolic BP, while diastolic BP only showed a significant time effect (p = 0.02). There was a significant time effect (p < 0.001) and time × group interaction (p = 0.001) for RPE.


IPC is a better recovery tool in terms of HRR, BP and RPE than active recovery while no such difference was found in the time- and frequency-domain measures of HRV.

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The present study is supported by the Jamia Millia Islamia (A central University), New Delhi, India. The authors express their deep gratitude to the participants for their enthusiasm and willingness to participate in this study.

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Correspondence to Irshad Ahmad.

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All procedures performed in the present study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The present study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India prior to the conduct of the study procedure.

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Rahman, M., Ahmad, I. & Hussain, M.E. Comparison of intermittent pneumatic compression and active recovery after sub-maximal aerobic exercise in collegiate soccer players: in relation with heart rate variability and heart rate recovery. Sport Sci Health 18, 1349–1358 (2022).

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