The Impact of Post Exercise Spinal Posture Following High Intensity Interval Training on Cardiovascular Recovery of Division I Female Soccer Players

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Brooke Starkoff


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


Recovery during and after performance is crucial in helping elite athletes achieve peak performance. Multiple methods of recovery between repeated bouts of exercise have been examined in athletes, but few have been found to be beneficial. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of spinal posture on cardiovascular recovery after high intensity interval training (HIIT). Twelve division I female soccer players (19.8±0.75yrs; 22.9±1.98kg*m-2) were randomly assigned to three recovery groups: hands on head (HH), hands on knees (HK), and seated upright control (CON). Participants completed four trials of running on a treadmill at 90-95% of their age predicted heart rate maximum for four minutes. Each running interval was followed by three minutes of recovery with participants positioned in their assigned spinal posture. Heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and respiratory rate (RR) were measured at rest and at the beginning and end of each recovery period. Two sample t-tests were performed to identify significant differences in HR, SBP, and RR between the three groups. The results showed no significant differences in HR and RR between groups (p>0.05). The change in SBP during recovery was significantly greater in the CON group compared to the HK group (40.5mmHg vs. 31.6mmHg, respectively; p<0.05). These results indicate that seated upright posture may have a greater impact on cardiovascular recovery after HIIT compared to HH or HK postures. Further research should investigate the impact of spinal posture on cardiovascular recovery after HIIT.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

For the past four years I have been a part of the Valparaiso University women's soccer team. Throughout my athletic career, I have heard different opinions from coaches on how to position my body during recovery from exercise. I chose to focus on this topic for my senior research project to seek clarity on this debated method of recovery and understand which spinal posture promotes the most efficient cardiovascular recovery.

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