The effect of strength training on skin temperature

The effect of strength training on skin temperature

21/02/2023 Home

Recently our co-founder, Ismael Fernández-Cuevas, published an article related to his doctoral thesis where the effects of strength training on skin temperature on different body regions was analyzed.

Infrared thermography is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that is increasingly used in sports medicine to detect thermal asymmetries, which can lead to injuries, and affect the performance and health of the athlete (Marins JC. et al. 2015), inducing in different strength gains.

This tool has also been used to detect muscle areas worked after participating in a marathon, and to study the effects of skin temperature when training strength, resistance, or speed. In addition, infrared thermography is useful for assessing muscle damage caused by plyometric training, and detecting thermal asymmetries that could lead to injury.

In this case, the authors wanted to determine the effect of training over time on changes in body temperature to determine the magnitude of the change.

Study design to analyze the effect of strength training

The study involved 14 young participants who were tested before, immediately after, and every hour after training for up to 8 hours afterward.

Analyses were performed with the T335 thermal camera (FLIR Systems, Sweden) and all conditions were controlled under the TISEM protocol.

Training consisted of a 5-min aerobic warm-up and an approach set of each exercise for about 6 to 10 repetitions with low loads. The order of the exercises was: Bench press 4 sets of 10 repetitions at 70% of RM resting 90 seconds between series; When moving on to the next exercise, the subjects rested for 3 minutes. The next exercise was a leg press with the same volume and intensity, then pulley crosses for the pectoral, and finally leg extension on the machine. The entire protocol followed the same dynamics. (Figure 1)

Strength design
Figure 1. Study design


The results show that immediately after circuit training involving all muscle groups the skin temperature decreases. In addition, it seems that the response is systematic for all body regions, although more significantly for those regions that were not so involved in the movement. The authors note that this may be due to a hormonal or flow redistribution response to high-intensity exercise.

Results strength
Figure 2. Results in ROI exercised

However, after 4 hours in the regions that have been exercised, the temperature significantly increases and reaches its highest values between 5 and 6 hours after training. This indicates a metabolic effect of strength training.

Study conclusions

The authors point out that the skin temperature will decrease immediately after strength training. However, the exercised regions will suffer a significant increase after approximately 4 hours.

Therefore, if the objective is to measure the internal load control of strength training, the ideal is to wait until at least the temperature peak is reached or see how it is after 24 hours in a basal state.


Fernández-Cuevas, I., Torres, G., Sillero-Quintana, M., & Navandar, A. (2023). Thermographic assessment of skin response to strength training in young participants. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 1-9.

Marins, J.C.B.; Fernández-Cuevas, I.; Arnaiz-Lastras, J.; Fernandes, A.A. y Sillero-Quintana, M.(2015). Aplicaciones de la termografía infrarroja en el deporte. Una revisión / Applications of Infrared Thermography in Sports. A Review. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte vol. 15 (60) pp. 805-824. Http://

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).

CDTI Thermohuman has received funding from the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), in participation with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), for the R+D activities involved in creating a new tool, based on thermography, for the prediction and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. See project detail.