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Logo of brjsmedBritish Journal of Sports MedicineVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
 
Br J Sports Med. 2007 September; 41(9): 591.
PMCID: PMC2465412

Commentary

Sport competitions often involve repeated high‐intensity bouts followed by brief recovery periods. Active recovery using jogging or cycling is a typical recovery strategy repeatedly shown to accelerate blood lactate disappearance. However, low‐intensity exercise using large muscles as in cycling or jogging may not be practical between competitions. The authors have therefore examined the effectiveness of using arm cranking as well as voluntary overventilation to activate additional muscle mass with the goal of taking up and metabolising blood lactate. In both cases, the working muscle mass employed to take up circulating lactate is smaller than that activated by traditional leg exercise. The findings here suggest that these alternative strategies do not activate sufficient muscle mass to achieve the goal of rapid lactate elimination. This information is important for athletes and coaches in competitive tournament settings. Large muscle mass is required for effective active recovery.


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