Acute Exercise-Associated Skin Surface Temperature Changes after Resistance Training with Different Exercise Intensities

Martin Weigert, Nico Nitzsche, Felix Kunert, Christiane Lösch, Lutz Baumgärtel, Henry Schulz


Background: Studies showed, that changes in muscular metabolic-associated heat production and blood circulation during and after muscular work affect skin temperature (T) but the results are inconsistent and the effect of exercise intensity is unclear. Objective: This study investigated the intensity-dependent reaction of T on resistance training. Methods: Ten male students participated. After acclimatization (15 min), the participants completed 3x10 repetitions of unilateral biceps curl with 30, 50 or 70% of their one-repetition-maximum (1RM) in a randomized order. Skin temperature of the loaded and unloaded biceps was measured at rest (Trest), immediately following set 1, 2 and 3 (TS1,TS2,TS3) and 30 minutes post exercise (T1 - T30) with an infrared camera. Results: Two-way ANOVA detected a significant effect of the measuring time point on T (Trest to T30) of the loaded arm for 30% (Eta²=0.85), 50% (Eta²=0.88) and 70% 1RM (Eta²=0.85) and of the unloaded arm only for 30% 1RM (Eta²=0.41) (p<0.05) but time effects were independent of the exercise intensity (p>0.05). The T values at the different measuring time points (Trest - T30) did not differ between the intensities at any time point. The loaded arm showed a mean maximum T rise to Trest of 1.8°C and on average, maximum T was reached approximately 5 minutes after the third set.  Conclusion: This study indicate a rise of T, which could be independent of the exercise intensity. Infrared thermography seems to be applicable to identify the primary used functional muscles in resistance training but this method seems not suitable to differentiate between exercise intensity from 30 to 70% 1RM.


Thermography; Skin Temperature; Thermoregulation; Resistance Training; Muscle, Skeletal

Full Text:



Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (Eds.). (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (3. ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Balci, G. A., Basaran, T., & Colakoglu, M. (2016). Analysing visual pattern of skin temperature during submaximal and maximal exercises. Infrared Physics & Technology, 74, 57–62.

Bartuzi, P., Roman-Liu, D., & Wisniewski, T. (2012). The influence of fatigue on muscle temperature. International journal of occupational safety and ergonomics: JOSE, 18(2), 233–243.

Chudecka, M. (2013). Use of thermal imaging in the evaluation of body surface temperature in various physiological states in patients with different body compositions and varying levels of physical activity. Central european journal of sport sciences and medicine, 2(2), 15–20.

Chudecka, M., Lubkowska, A., Leznicka, K., & Krupecki, K. (2015). The use of thermal imaging in the evaluation of the symmetry of muscle activity in various types of exercises (symmetrical and asymmetrical). Journal of human kinetics, 49, 141–147.

Costello, J., Stewart, I. B., Selfe, J., Karki, A. I., & & Donnelly, A. (2013). The use of thermal imaging in sports medicine research: a short report. International Sportmed Journal, 14(2), 94–98.

Das, P., Vardasca, R., & Mendes, J. G. (Eds.). (2017). Innovative research in thermal imaging for biology and medicine. Advances in Medical Technologies and Clinical Practice: IGI Global.

Edwards, R. H., Hill, D. K., & Jones, D. A. (1975). Heat production and chemical changes during isometric contractions of the human quadriceps muscle. The Journal of physiology, 251(2), 303–315.

Formenti, D., Ludwig, N., Gargano, M., Gondola, M., Dellerma, N., Caumo, A., & Alberti, G. (2013). Thermal imaging of exercise-associated skin temperature changes in trained and untrained female subjects. Annals of biomedical engineering, 41(4), 863–871.

Formenti, D., Ludwig, N., Trecroci, A., Gargano, M., Michielon, G., Caumo, A., & Alberti, G. (2016). Dynamics of thermographic skin temperature response during squat exercise at two different speeds. Journal of thermal biology, 59, 58–63.

Fröhlich, M., Ludwig, O., Kraus, S., & Felder, H. (2014). Changes in skin surface temperature during muscular endurance indicated strain – an explorative study. International Journal of Kinesiology & Sports Science, 2(3), 23–27.

Fröhlich, M., Ludwig, O., Zeller, P., & Felder, H. (2015). Changes in skin surface temperature after a 10-minute warm-up on a bike ergometer. International Journal of Kinesiology & Sports Science, 3(3), 13–17.

Gray, S. R., Soderlund, K., Watson, M., & Ferguson, R. A. (2011). Skeletal muscle ATP turnover and single fibre ATP and PCr content during intense exercise at different muscle temperatures in humans. Pflugers Archiv : European journal of physiology, 462(6), 885–893.

Hildebrandt, C., Raschner, C., & Ammer, K. (2010). An overview of recent application of medical infrared thermography in sports medicine in Austria. Sensors (Basel), 10(5), 4700–4715.

ISO 2009 Medical electrical equipment-deployment, implementation and operational guidelines for identifying febrile humans using a screening thermograph. TR 13154:2009 ISO/TR 8-600.

Jiang, L. J., Ng, E. Y. K., Yeo, A. C. B., Wu, S., Pan, F., Yau, W. Y.,. Yang, Y. (2005). A perspective on medical infrared imaging. Journal of medical engineering & technology, 29(6), 257–267.

Kenny, G. P., Reardon, F. D., Zaleski, W., Reardon, M. L., Haman, F., & Ducharme, M. B. (2003). Muscle temperature transients before, during, and after exercise measured using an intramuscular multisensor probe. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 94(6), 2350–2357.

Kenny, G. P., Webb, P., Ducharme, M. B., Reardon, F. D., & Jay, O. (2008). Calorimetric measurement of postexercise net heat loss and residual body heat storage. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 40(9), 1629–1636.

Krustrup, P., Ferguson, R. A., Kjaer, M., & Bangsbo, J. (2003). ATP and heat production in human skeletal muscle during dynamic exercise: Higher efficiency of anaerobic than aerobic ATP resynthesis. The Journal of physiology, 549(Pt 1), 255–269.

Lahiri, B. B., Bagavathiappan, S., Jayakumar, T., & Philip, J. (2012). Medical applications of infrared thermography: A review. Infrared Physics & Technology, 55(4), 221–235.

Ludwig, N., Formenti, D., Trecroci, A., Gargano, M., & Alberti, G. (2014). Comparison of image analysis methods in skin temperature measurements during physical exercise. Quantitative InfraRed Thermography, Bordeaux 7-11 July.

Marins, J. C. B., Moreira, D. G., Cano, S. P., Quintana, M. S., Soares, D. D., Fernandes, A. d. A., Amorim, P. R. d. S. (2014). Time required to stabilize thermographic images at rest. Infrared Physics & Technology, 65, 30–35.

Merla, A., Mattei, P. A., Di Donato, L., & Romani, G. L. (2010). Thermal imaging of cutaneous temperature modifications in runners during graded exercise. Annals of biomedical engineering, 38(1), 158–163.

Neves, E. B., Cunha, R. M., Rosa, C., Antunes, N. S., Felisberto, I. M. V., Vilaça-Alves, J., & Reis, V. M. (2016). Correlation between skin temperature and heart rate during exercise and recovery, and the influence of body position in these variables in untrained women. Infrared Physics & Technology, 75, 70–76.

Neves, E. B., Moreira, T. R., Lemos, R., Vilaça-Alves, J., Rosa, C., & Reis, V. M. (2015). Using skin temperature and muscle thickness to assess muscle response to strength training. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 21(5), 350–354.

Neves, E. B., Vilaça-Alves, J., Krueger, E., & Reis, V. M. (2014). Changes in skin temperature during muscular work: a pilot study. Pan Am J Med Thermol, 1(1), 11–15.

Neves, E. B., Vilaça-Alves, J., Moreira, T. R., de Lemos, Rui Jorge Canário Alvares, & Reis, V. M. (2016). The thermal response of biceps brachii to strength training. Gazzetta medica italiana, 175(10), 391–399.

Priego Quesada, J. I., Carpes, F. P., Bini, R. R., Salvador Palmer, R., Perez-Soriano, P., & Cibrian Ortiz de Anda, R. M. (2015). Relationship between skin temperature and muscle activation during incremental cycle exercise. Journal of thermal biology, 48, 28–35.

Priego Quesada, J. I. (Ed.). (2017). Application of infrared thermography in sports science. Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering. Cham: Springer. Retrieved from

Priego Quesada, J. I., Martínez, N., Salvador Palmer, R., Psikuta, A., Annaheim, S., Rossi, R. M.,. . . Pérez-Soriano, P. (2016). Effects of the cycling workload on core and local skin temperatures. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 77, 91–99.

Ring, E. F. J., & Ammer, K. (2012). Infrared thermal imaging in medicine. Physiological measurement, 33(3), 46.

Sahlin, K., Katz, A., & Henriksson, J. (1987). Redox state and lactate accumulation in human skeletal muscle during dynamic exercise. Biochemical Journal, 245(2), 551–556.

Schlager, O., Gschwandtner, M. E., Herberg, K., Frohner, T., Schillinger, M., Koppensteiner, R., & Mlekusch, W. (2010). Correlation of infrared thermography and skin perfusion in Raynaud patients and in healthy controls. Microvascular research, 80(1), 54–57.

Sillero-Quintana, M., Gomez-Carmona, P. M., & Fernández-Cuevas, I. (2017). Infrared thermography as a means of monitoring and preventing sports injuries. In P. Das, R. Vardasca, & J. G. Mendes (Eds.), Advances in Medical Technologies and Clinical Practice. Innovative research in thermal imaging for biology and medicine (pp. 165–198). IGI Global.

Stienen, G. J., Kiers, J. L., Bottinelli, R., & Reggiani, C. (1996). Myofibrillar ATPase activity in skinned human skeletal muscle fibres: Fibre type and temperature dependence. The Journal of physiology, 493 (Pt 2), 299–307.

Wang, H., Wade, Jr.,Dwight R., & Kam, J. (2004). IR imaging of blood circulation of patients with vascular disease. In D. D. Burleigh, K. E. Cramer, & G. R. Peacock (Eds.): SPIE Proceedings, Defense and Security (p. 115). SPIE.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2018 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.