Int J Sports Med 2015; 36(07): 567-572
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1398648
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effect of “Touch Rugby” Training on the Cardiovascular Autonomic Control In Sedentary Subjects

C. Filliau
1   Université Paris-Sud 1., Complexité, Innovation et Activités Motrices et Sportives (CIAMS, EA 4532), Orsay, France
M. Younes
2   Université d’Evry-val d’Essonne, STAPS, Evry, France
A.-L. Blanchard
3   Fédération française de rugby, Suivi sportif, Marcoussis, France
J. Piscione
3   Fédération française de rugby, Suivi sportif, Marcoussis, France
A. Van de Louw
4   College of Medicin, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, United States
C. Seguret
5   Conseil general de l’Essonne, PDMS, Marcoussis, France
J. Israel
5   Conseil general de l’Essonne, PDMS, Marcoussis, France
F. Cottin
1   Université Paris-Sud 1., Complexité, Innovation et Activités Motrices et Sportives (CIAMS, EA 4532), Orsay, France
2   Université d’Evry-val d’Essonne, STAPS, Evry, France
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 27 November 2014

Publication Date:
17 March 2015 (online)


This study aimed to explore the effects of “touch-rugby” training on the cardiovascular autonomic control in sedentary subjects. 22 adults (30–64 years old) were included in this study. Before (pre-test) and after (post-test) the period of training, cardio-respiratory recordings were achieved at rest and during a graded maximal exercise on a treadmill. The Smoothed-Pseudo-Wigner-Ville Distribution provided instantaneous time frequency components of RR intervals and systolic blood pressure variability in low- and high-frequency bands. The baroreflex sensitivity was assessed in low-frequency and high-frequency bands. Between pre-test and post-test, resting heart rate (74±10 vs. 69±12 beats.min−1, p<0.05) and systolic blood pressure (118±19 vs. 103±22 mm Hg, p<0.01) decreased. Root mean square of successive differences (34.6±30.1 vs. 47.6±34.8 ms, p<0.001), high-frequency RR variability (590±288 vs. 1262±767 ms², p<0.001) increased whereas low-frequency/high-frequency ratio decreased (3.5±3.4 vs. 1.5±0.9, p<0.05). The high-frequency baroreflex sensitivity increased (13.4±10.1 vs. 26.0±20.9 ms.mmHg−1, p<0.05). Playing touch rugby with one session weekly over 3 months modified the cardiovascular autonomic control of sedentary subjects. A decrease in the sympathetic tone combined with both an increase in the vagal tone and a decrease in systolic blood pressure at rest were observed. Therefore, such training appears to be beneficial to cardiac health.

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