Active or Passive Recovery?

For those who swim competitively – whether against opponents or your own top time – a recent study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research examined how best to recover between sprints. Scientists had 10 high school aged male swimmers perform eight 25-meter sprints with 2 minutes of rest between each.

One group rested passively, another swam at 40% of their 100-meter capacity while yet another swam at 60% of their 100-meter best. All 3 groups participated in a 50-meter down and back sprint 6 minutes after their last 25-meter effort. The guys who actively recovered at 60% of their max came up short in the 50-meter. Interestingly enough, there were no significant differences between the 40% active recovery and passively sitting on the edge of the pool.

The Bigger Picture: Even if you're not into swimming, this study offers some insight on how to make the best use of your time between different weight lifting exercises. Sitting on the bench or walking around the weight room might leave you with more energy than cranking out 6-count squat thrusts or jumping rope.
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