PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was a) to compare the effect of three different warm-up protocols upon rowing performance and perception of dyspnea, and b) to identify the functional significance of a respiratory warm-up. METHODS: A group of well-trained club rowers (N = 14) performed a 6-min all-out rowing simulation (Concept II). We examined differences in mean power output and dyspnea measures (modified CR-Borg scale) under three different conditions: after a submaximal rowing warm-up (SWU), a specific rowing warm-up (RWU), and a specific rowing warm-up with the addition of a respiratory warm-up (RWUplus) protocol. RESULTS: Mean power output during the 6-min all-out rowing effort increased by 1.2% after the RWUplus compared with that obtained after the RWU (P < 0.05) which, in turn, was by 3.2% higher than the performance after the SWU (P < 0.01). Similarly, after the RWUplus, dyspnea was 0.6 +/- 0.1 (P < 0.05) units of the Borg scale lower compared with the dyspnea after the RWU and 0.8 +/- 0.2 (P < 0.05) units lower than the dyspnea after the SWU. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that a combination of a respiratory warm-up protocol together with a specific rowing warm-up is more effective than a specific rowing warm-up or a submaximal warm-up alone as a preparation for rowing performance.
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