Date of Award
Dr. Penny Reynolds
Competitive swimmers and coaches have had varying ideas about what exercises constitute an appropriate warm-down. However, there is much agreement about what a warm-down should achieve. A good warm-down should do three things. First, a warm-down should be successful in returning the swimmer's elevated heart rate to the resting heart rate level in a relatively short period of time. Second, the warm-down should flush lactic acid out of the muscles as quickly as possible, and restore blood lactate to baseline levels. Finally the warm-down should contribute to improved athletic performances.
In this experiment, it was expected that a decreasing intensity warm-down would more gradually return the body to aerobic respiration. Although it appeared to be true (as seen in heart rate recoveries) that a decreasing intensity warm-down more gradually returned the body to resting conditions, it was not the most efficient method of recovery. The most efficient recovery was that which occurred fastest. A constant intensity warm-down appears to recover resting heart rate and lactate levels more quickly. Something to consider, though, is that perhaps the most efficient recovery is not the best for the body.
Perkins, Alison Jean, "The effect of different warm-downs on heart rate recovery and muscular lactic acid removal" (1999). Honors Theses. 1029.