Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Physiological Performance Variables in Women's Handball
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Department of Physical Education and Sport, Superior Institute of Physical Education, University of the Republic (Udelar), Montevideo, Uruguay.
Submission date: 2023-03-06
Acceptance date: 2023-06-05
Online publication date: 2023-09-05
Corresponding author
Andrés Santiago Parodi-Feye   

Instituto Superior de Educación Física, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay
Journal of Human Kinetics 2023;89:101–112
Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) has been used in different sports, although there is no consensus on its benefits. We investigated the effects of eight weeks of IMT in women's handball. Twenty-four players were randomly distributed into experimental (EXP; n = 13) and control (CON; n = 11) groups. Only the EXP group performed IMT using the POWERBreathe device, following indications of the manufacturers. Before and after the intervention, spirometric variables were evaluated at rest and during a graded test using direct analysis of respiratory gases. Perception of exertion at submaximal intensity was also determined. No significant differences were observed post- vs. pre-intervention (p ≥ 0.05) regarding forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (VEF1), FVC/VEF1, maximal expiratory flow at 50% of FVC or peak inspiratory flow. Post-intervention, only the CON group increased their absolute and relative VO2max (2.1 ± 0.2 L/min pre vs. 2.2 ± 0.3 L/min post; 33.6 ± 3.6 ml/kg∙min pre vs. 34.5 ± 3.2 ml/kg∙min post, respectively). No significant improvements (p ≥ 0.05) were observed in VO2 associated with ventilatory threshold 1 (VT1), nor in the intensity associated with VO2max and VT1. However, there was a tendency for the mentioned variables to decrease in the CON group, while in the EXP group the trend was to maintain or increase previous values. IMT did not determine an improvement in the perception of exertion at submaximal intensity. The use of POWERBreathe, as described in the present study, is feasible in terms of time and effort, although its benefits may not be significant.
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