DO DIFFERENT MASSAGE INTERVENTIONS FOLLOWING INTENSE ECCENTRIC EXERCISE PERMIT INCREASES IN ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Objective: The primary objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of massage as an intervention and to ascertain the optimal massage intervention to aid athletic performance after intense eccentric activity. Participants: 10 male undergraduate participants from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) took part in the study. Participants played for UWIC’s 3rd and 4th football teams. All participants had a minimum of 12 months experience in a conditioning setting. Methods: All participants attended on four separate occasions for the testing sessions. Each session required the participants to perform two functional performance tests (a vertical jump and 30m sprint) at the beginning of each testing session, perform an eccentric protocol (2 x 15 reps @ 90% of 3RM) and receive a different massage intervention each week. The massage interventions were massage 'pre' (before the eccentric protocol), massage 'post' (after the eccentric protocol), massage 'pre and post' (before and after the eccentric protocol) and the last week no massage intervention was administered (control). Participants then performed the functional performance tests again at the end of each testing session. Results: Analysis of the data revealed massage 'pre' had a significant decrease in vertical jump heights (p < 0.05). The remaining massage interventions had no significant effect on athletic performance (p > 0.05), as vertical jump heights and 30m sprints decreased, except massage 'pre and post' where athletic performance increased. Conclusion: Massage applied 'pre and post' intense eccentric activity is the best massage intervention to aid athletic performance after intense eccentric activity as overall athletic performance improved, although no significant difference was noted. Massage applied 'pre' eccentric activity significantly decreased vertical jump heights.
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