Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physical Education


The purpose of this study was to compare three methods of improving the recovery process between bouts of strenuous exercises (1) rest with the application of an abdominal ice pack, (2) rest with the application of an ice water foot bath, and (3) rest. Fifteen volunteer ma.le subjects from the student body at South Dakota State University participated in the study conducted for a three-week period during the 1969 spring semester. Each subject was tested three times during this period. The order in which the subjects participated in the treatments was randomly assigned. The testing period consisted of riding a bicycle ergometer with the resistance on the ergometer initially set at two kilograms (kg). This load was increased one-half kg each minute thereafter until the subject's heart rate reached 180 beats per minute. This was followed by a twelve-minute recovery period in which one of the three treatments· was applied. Then a second bicycle ergometer ride identical to the first was administered. The treatments during the recovery period were: (1) a control test where the subject sat in an armchair for the twelve-minute recovery period, (2) an ice bag was held on the bare abdomen for seven minutes during the recovery period, or (3) both feet were placed in an ice water foot bath for seven minutes during the recovery period. The criteria measured were: (1) the change in performance time from the first ergometer ride to the second ergometer ride, (2) total heart rate during the twelve-minute recovery period, and (3) oxygen consumed during the third to tenth minute of the recovery period. As a result of the statistical analysis of the data obtained, the investigator found there was a significant decrease in performance time from the first ergometer ride to the second ergometer ride for all three treatments, however, there was no significant difference in the decrease in the performance time among the treatments. The total heart rate was significantly higher for the foot bath treatment over the abdominal ice pack and rest treatments� but there was no significant difference between the ice pack or rest treatments. The foot bath treatment group consumed significantly more oxygen during the recovery period than either the abdominal ice pack or control treatments, and the abdominal ice pack treatment used significantly more oxygen than did the control treatment. The following conclusions were drawn from this study: 1. There will be a decrease in performance time for a second bout of strenuous exercise following cold applications similar to those employed in this study. 2. The abdominal ice pack appears to be the best method of helping to improve the recovery process. 3. The ice water foot bath appears to increase the stress of the circulatory and respiratory systems, therefore increasing the heart rate and oxygen consumed during the foot bath treatment.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cold -- Therapeutic use
Cold -- Physiological effect



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University