The Effects of Pre-event massage on sprint performance in females
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The focus of this study aims to examine the effects of pre-event massage on sprint performance in female athletes. Much of the current research associated with massage and sprint performance hold methodological flaws. The majority of studies have all looked at male participants. Very little research has looked at the effects of pre-event massage in females which may produce different results to males. Other limitations include sprint distances; with the majority of research looking at 20-30m which can be argued is better suited to games populations. One of the main aims of this study was to adopt an accurate, ecologically valid approach to sprint specific populations. Seven female sprinters (Age 20 ± 0.7 years) from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff volunteered to take part in the study, each with a minimum of 3 years’ experience in their respective events. Participants were exposed to two different conditions prior to performance (Massage and No Massage) which was used alongside their personal warm-up routine. Both conditions were tested on alternate weeks with a one week gap. Following both conditions, participants performed an all-out sprint covering 60m which was timed using electronic timing gates. Analysis of data suggests that there is no significant difference between the two conditions adopted in this study in relation to sprint performance (p>0.05). This was evident in both 30m (p=0.48) and 60m (p=0.80) sprint times which suggests that pre-event massage has no significant effect on the various stages of a sprint race. Analysis of 10m split timings (0-60m) were also recorded and a similar trend was evident which suggested no major difference between the two conditions in relation to split timings. The data suggests that a pre-event massage intervention prior to performance does not significantly benefit sprint performance, nor does it have a significant negative affect on sprint performance.
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