University Of Tasmania
148626 - Hot water immersion potential to improve intermittent.pdf (1.06 MB)

Hot water immersion; potential to improve intermittent running performance and perception of in-game running ability in semi-professional Australian Rules Footballers?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 05:24 authored by Philp, CP, Nathan PitchfordNathan Pitchford, James Fell, Kitic, CM, Buchheit, M, Petersen, AC, Minson, CT, Denis VisentinDenis Visentin, Greig WatsonGreig Watson

This study investigated whether hot water immersion (HWI) could heat acclimate athletes and improve intermittent running performance and perception of in-game running ability, during a competitive Australian Rules Football (ARF) season. Fifteen male semi-professional ARF athletes (Mean (SD); age: 22 (3) years, height: 182.3 (6.5) cm, mass: 80.5 (5.1) kg) completed either HWI (HEAT, N = 8, 13 (2) sessions, 322 (69) min exposure, 39.5 (0.3) °C) or acted as a control (CON, N = 7, no water immersion) over 6-weeks. Athletes completed a 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test pre and post-intervention to assess intermittent running performance (VIFT), with perception of in-game running ability measured. Heat acclimation was determined via change in resting plasma volume, as well as physiological and perceptual responses during HWI. HEAT elicited large PV expansion (mean ± 90% CI: d = 1.03 ± 0.73), large decreases in heart rate (d = -0.89 ± 0.70), thermal sensation (d = -2.30 ± 1.15) and tympanic temperature (d = -1.18 ± 0.77). Large improvements in VIFT were seen in HEAT (d = 1.67 ± 0.93), with HEAT showing a greater improvement in VIFT when compared to CON (d = 0.81 ± 0.88). HEAT also showed greater belief that in-game running ability improved post-intervention (d = 2.15 ± 1.09) compared to CON. A 6-week HWI intervention can elicit heat acclimation, improve perception of in-game running ability, and potentially improve VIFT in semi-professional ARF athletes.


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School of Health Sciences


Public Library of Science

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright: © 2022 Wilson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified; Expanding knowledge in the health sciences