Effects of different breathing patterns on biochemical, cardiorespiratory and performance variables in young tennis players

Rocio Cupeiro Coto, Pedro José Benito Peinado, Jose Antonio Aparicio Agenjo, Miguel Angel Rojo Tirado, Javier Butragueño Revenga, Ana Belén Peinado Lozano


Aim: To investigate the effect of different breathing patterns (spontaneous breathing as a control, hyperventilation and forced exhalation) on biochemical, cardiorespiratory and performance variables following a specific tennis test. Methods: Thirteen trained nationally ranked male tennis participated in this study. In three different sessions the players performed a passing-shot drill test, only modifying the breathing pattern (hyperventilation, forced exhalation or spontaneous breathing) during the recovery periods in randomized and counterbalance manner. Results: No differences were found between the three tests in biochemical variables (pH: F2,12=0.118, P=0.890; pCO2: F2,24=1.24, P=0.307; [HCO3-]: F2,24=3.257, P=0.056; [La-] F2,24=0.179, P=0.838) except for the base excess (BE; F2,24=4.339, P=0.025). On the other hand, ventilation and breathing frequency were different among the test (VE: F2,24=23.134, P<0.001; BF: F2,24=74.633, P<0.001, respectively), while VO2 and heart rate were similar (VO2: F2,24=0.031, P=0.9691; HR: F2,24=1.213, P=0.315, respectively). Finally, no relevant differences were observed for the performance variables, being the mean speed stroke, maximum speed stroke and precision stroke similar between the three tests (F2,36=0.043, P=0.958; F2,36=0.007, P=0.993; F2,36=0.435, P=0.651, respectively). Conclusion: It seems that the performance during a submaximal specific tennis drill is not influenced by the breathing pattern used during recoveries. Therefore, altering breathing pattern does not seem a good strategy to modify the acid-base status or performance during a tennis trial.

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