THE EFFECT OF POST EVENT MASSAGE AFTER STRENUOUS EXERCISE ON FEMALE UNIVERSITY HOCKEY PLAYERS: ARE THE EFFECTS PHYSIOLOGICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Aim - The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two different recovery interventions; post event sports massage and active recovery on 1) rate of perceived recovery, 2) 20m sprint times, 3) the height of countermovement jumps (CMJ), which arguably measures force production of the legs. Methodology - 13 female undergraduate students (mean age 19.3 ± 0.9 years) from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) completed the study. They were all playing regularly for one of the three UWIC Ladies hockey teams. After the modified Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle test (LIST) participants either received a 10 minute sports massage or engaged in 10 minutes of active recovery. Following each of the recovery interventions, participants completed three, 20m sprints and then three CMJ. All participants were then required to give a rate of perceived recovery using a given questionnaire. Results – A Wilcoxon matched pair test showed that a 10 minute massage after strenuous exercise significantly increased rate of perceived recovery compared to active recovery (p<0.01). Analysis of the data for the 20m sprint showed there was no significant difference (p>0.05) when comparing active recovery and massage. Also, when comparing pre to massage the results were not found to be significantly different. The only significant difference for the 20m sprint was found between pre and active recovery (p<0.01). Through conducting a one-way repeated measure Anova it was found that there were no significant differences between any of the interventions when comparing the heights of the countermovement jumps. Conclusion - This study found that there were psychological benefits from a 10 minute post event massage. However it is still inconclusive whether a 10 minute post event massage has any physiological benefits on recovery and enhanced performance. More research on sports massage is required to get a better understanding of the physiological effects massage can offer. Future research should aim to 1) find an optimal duration for massage, 2) investigate the effects of different massage techniques and 3) use a larger sample size to increase reliability of the results.
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