Send to

Choose Destination
Springerplus. 2015 Jul 7;4:321. doi: 10.1186/s40064-015-1093-5. eCollection 2015.

Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men.

Author information

Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, 40351 Jyväskylä, Finland.



This study investigated effects of far-infrared sauna (FIRS) bathing on recovery from strength training and endurance training sessions, but also possible differences between FIRS and traditional (TRAD) Finnish sauna bathing.


Ten healthy physically active male volunteers had on various days either a 60 min hypertrophic strength training session (STS) or a 34-40 min maximal endurance training session (ETS), which was following by 30 min bathing in special FIRS sauna at temperature of 35-50°C and humidity of 25-35%. After the sauna, subjects sat for 30 min at room temperature (21°C and 25-30% humidity). In comparison, 30 min of TRAD took place at 35-50°C and in 60-70% humidity. Performance tests included maximal isometric bench press and leg press, counter movement jump (CMJ) and maximal oxygen uptake on a treadmill.


After STS, there were decreases in maximal isometric bench press (p < 0.001), maximal isometric leg press (p < 0.001), CMJ (p < 0.001) and pH (p < 0.001), but increases in heart rate (p < 0.001) and lactate concentration (p < 0.001) as expected. During recovery there were no differences in any variables between FIRS and no sauna bathing (NO SAUNA). Maximal ETS increased oxygen uptake (p < 0.001), heart rate (p < 0.001), lactate concentration (p < 0.001) and decreased pH (p < 0.001) as expected. During recovery at 30 min, CMJ was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (0.34 ± 0.09 m) after FIRS bathing than after sitting with NO SAUNA (0.32 ± 0.0 m). After sauna heart rate was higher (p < 0.05) in TRAD (92 ± 13 beats/min) than in FIRS (71 ± 7 beats/min).


In conclusion, deep penetration of infrared heat (approximately 3-4 cm into fat tissue and neuromuscular system) with mild temperature (35-50°C), and light humidity (25-35%) during FIRS bathing appears favorable for the neuromuscular system to recover from maximal endurance performance. FIRS bathing is a very light loading for the body and provides a comfortable and relaxing experience.


Exercise; Far-infrared; Neuromuscular; Performance; Sauna

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center