Hiit Science blog posting about thermography

Hiit Science blog posting about thermography

23/02/2021 By: Víctor Escamilla Galindo Home

Our Co-Founder Javier Arnaiz has recently published a great article about thermography and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in a prestigious blog of sports science, Hiit Science. This blog (which that takes its name from a popular book edited by Paul Laursen and Martin Buchheit), has a reputation due to the increasing interest on this kind of training, which has been popularized since Dr. Izumi Tabata described in 1996, this training structure based on 20 seconds of intense exercise and 10 seconds of rest (Tabata et al., 1996).

From that time on, many research works have been developed on this topic, until Buchheit et al. (2013), published one of the most popular articles on HIIT. Where he built the puzzle to create a training session, looking for specific adaptations.

In that sense, our colleague Javier Arnaiz developed for his PhD (Arnaiz-Lastras, 2017) a research exploring the differences in skin temperature responses based on different types of HIIT protocols (Figure 1).

High-Intensity Interval Training Book.
Figure 1. HIIT Training protocol for Javier Arnaiz PhD research.

In summary, Javier Arnaiz finds a relationship between HIIT Short and SIT (Sprint Interval Training) that provoked skin temperature decrease for the anterior and posterior chains, potentially due to the linear nature of the all-out running drills, impacting predominantly the quadriceps and hamstrings of both legs.

RST (Repeated Sprint Training) produced a symmetrical thermal response in the posterior chain, resulting in a cross pattern in both the hamstring from one leg and popliteus of the opposite one;( Figure 2) potentially linked with the change of direction imposed in the drill, where players had to brake and perform a 180º change of direction.

Figure 2. Thermal responses in posterior chain.

For HIIT Long (continuous self-paced running at 7-8 RPE), the response was shown in the calves (Figure 2), probably because of a potential connection with reduced hip flexion (compared with sprinting), with likely less activation of hamstrings and quadriceps than linear HIIT Short and SIT.  Besides, one thing that could influence the results of HIIT Long was that the players were running around the football pitch always in a clockwise direction. It’s possible that such asymmetrical loading in the right leg due to being closer to the center of the pitch when running in circles elicited this response, suggesting a potential relation between continuous asymmetrical loading in running biomechanics and thermal responses. This finding could reveal a future practical application of this novel technology.

You can find the publication of this article in the following link


TABATA, IZUMI; NISHIMURA, KOUJI; KOUZAKI, MOTOKI; HIRAI, YUUSUKE; OGITA, FUTOSHI; MIYACHI, MOTOHIKO; YAMAMOTO, KAORU Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and ˙VO2max, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: October 1996 – Volume 28 – Issue 10 – p 1327-1330 

Buchheit M, Laursen PB. High-intensity interval training, solutions to the programming puzzle: Part I: cardiopulmonary emphasis. Sports Med. 2013 May;43(5):313-38. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0029-x. PMID: 23539308.

Arnáiz Lastras, J. (2017). Monitoring the acute effects of training, recovery and competition on football player’s skin temperature with infrared thermography. (PhD), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.

Europa Thermohuman ThermoHuman has had the support of the Funds of the European Union and the Community of Madrid through the Operational Programme on Youth Employment. Likewise, ThermoHuman within the framework of the Export Initiation Program of ICEX NEXT, had the support of ICEX and the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).