Research - Warm Muscles Perform Better

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Research - Warm Muscles Perform Better

Postby Canuck Singh » Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:32 am

Whether it’s lifting your heaviest weights in the gym or performing out on the field, research now shows that warm muscles ensure better performance than cold muscles.
Researchers from Arkansas State have recently showed that cold muscles have a reduced capacity to produce force.

This study determined the effects of environmental cooling on force production in the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Ten men performed maximal leg extension and flexion on a Cybex II isokinetic dynamometer. Between sets, the subjects sat in environmental temperatures of 20, 15, 10, or 5° Celsius for 40 minutes. A significant decrease in force was noted for both quadriceps and hamstrings muscles as environmental temperatures became cooler.

A significant amount of heat is lost from muscles when the body is exposed to cool environmental temperatures. The take-home message is that increasing blood flow to muscles increases their temperature and ability to produce maximal force. That’s why your warm up is so important. If you exercise in a cold environment, be sure to warm up your muscles thoroughly or your performance will suffer.

Journal of Strength & Cond Research 35:784-792, 2003
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