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Whoop and MLB discover the importance of rest in largest league performance study

Sports-related injuries seem to be on the rise these days. This really should not come as a surprise. Athletes are pushing themselves further on a daily basis, walking a fine line between strain and gain. Whoop wants to make sure athletes continue to improve by resting when they need it.

We have reported in the past about the Whoop Strap and what it can provide for an individual. The aim is to teach the wearer about how their body responds to strenuous activity, because after a hard workout or game, your body needs time to recover. The strap tracks your heart rate, skin conductivity, ambient temperature, and motion throughout the day. Afterward, it suggests how much sleep is needed to fully recover.

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What changed is that now Whoop has teamed up with Major League Baseball to show everyone it works. Together, a study involving 230 minor league players from nine different MLB organizations took place. From June to November, the players continuously wore the Whoop strap at home and on the diamond. In all, the strap measured 3,321 workouts, 4,407 sleep cycles, and more than 350 million heartbeats.

There are a few main conclusions that the study provided. Of all the players, pitchers are the most cardiovascularly fit. They also require the most amount of time between performances. On average, a starting pitcher needs three full days to recover. When traveling, any player needs upward of two days to fully recover to their pre-travel baseline. In a more general sense, there was a positive relationship between recovery time and the player’s performance. Pitches reached higher velocities and balls traveled farther after being hit.

This is the first time a study of this kind was performed in the United States. During the MLB’s recent winter meetings, the results were shared across the medical, strength, and conditioning staffs.

“The initial findings of this study confirm the need for continuous physiological monitoring in professional sports, including in-game monitoring to improve player health and safety,” Whoop founder and CEO Will Ahmed said in a statement. “By conducting the largest performance study ever in any U.S. professional sports league, Whoop has set the foundation for future research that will empower baseball organizations to think differently about the traditional constructs of the game related to managing rosters, lineups and pitching rotations. The teams that embrace this culture of performance-enhancing data will have a distinct advantage.”

The Whoop Strap is available on its website for $500. Additional information about the study can also be found over at its blog, The Locker.

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