A1 Journal article (refereed)
Acute Neuromuscular and Hormonal Responses to Different Exercise Loadings Followed by a Sauna (2020)

Rissanen, J. A., Häkkinen, A., Laukkanen, J., Kraemer, W. J., & Häkkinen, K. (2020). Acute Neuromuscular and Hormonal Responses to Different Exercise Loadings Followed by a Sauna. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34(2), 313-322. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003371

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Rissanen, Joonas A.; Häkkinen, Arja; Laukkanen, Jari; Kraemer, William J.; Häkkinen, Keijo

Journal or series: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

ISSN: 1064-8011

eISSN: 1533-4287

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 34

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 313-322

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003371

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


The purpose of this study was to investigate acute responses of endurance (E + SA), strength (S + SA), and combined endurance and strength exercise (C + SA) followed by a traditional sauna bath (70° C, 18% relative humidity) on neuromuscular performance and serum hormone concentrations. Twenty-seven recreationally physically active men who were experienced with taking a sauna participated in the study. All the subjects performed a sauna bath only (SA) first as a control measurement followed by S + SA and E + SA (paired matched randomization) and C + SA. Subjects were measured PRE (before exercise), MID (immediately after exercise and before sauna), POST (after sauna), POST30min (30 minutes after sauna), and POST24h (24 hours after PRE). Maximal isometric leg press (ILPFmax) and bench press (IBPFmax) forces, maximal rate of force development (RFD) and countermovement vertical jump (CMVJ), serum testosterone (TES), cortisol (COR), and 22-kD growth hormone (GH22kD) concentrations were measured. All exercise loadings followed by a sauna decreased ILPFmax (−9 to −15%) and RFD (−20 to −26%) in POST. ILPFmax, RFD, and CMVJ remained at significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lowered levels after S + SA in POST24h. IBPFmax decreased in POST in S + SA and C + SA and remained lowered in POST24h. SA decreased ILPFmax and IBPFmax in POST and POST30min and remained lowered in ILPFmax (−4.1%) at POST24h. GH22kD, TES, and COR elevated significantly in all loadings measured in the afternoon in MID. SA only led to an elevation (15%) in TES in POST. The strength exercise followed by a sauna was the most fatiguing protocol for the neuromuscular performance. Traditional sauna bathing itself seems to be strenuous loading, and it may not be recommended 24 hours before the next training session. A sauna bath after the loadings did not further change the hormonal responses recorded after the exercise loadings.

Keywords: sauna bathing; physical training; endurance training; strength training; hormonal effects; recovery (return)

Free keywords: sauna bath; exercise; performance; acute response; recovery

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 21:37