Comparing the Effects of Sports Massage and Active Recovery on Blood Lactate Clearance after High-Intensity Anaerobic Exercise
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Aim - The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of sports massage and active recovery on the removal of blood lactate clearance. Method - Eight students from Cardiff Metropolitan University participated in the study (seven females and one male). All participants completed a 30 second Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT), before receiving their treatment intervention, either sports massage or active recovery. The cross-over design required the participants to attend two testing sessions, receiving sports massage treatment in one session and then active recovery in the other. The two interventions were carried out for 20 minutes; sports massage consisted of effleurage and petrissage, whereas participants had to cycle at 60% of their maximum heart rate when performing active recovery. Blood lactate samples were taken at four specific points during the testing session. A qualified physiology technician conducted the taking of blood samples of each participant at rest, two minutes after the WAnT, half way through the treatment and immediately after the treatment with the ear lobe being used as the sample site. Results - A paired t-test was used to determine if there was a learned effect over the two weeks. The significance values were all greater then p > 0.05, suggesting no learned effect had taken place. A two-way repeated measures Anova compared the lactate values between sports massage and active recovery over the four lactate sample time points. Following the interventions, the significance reported was p <0.05, suggesting active recovery resulted in a higher removal of lactate than sports massage. Conclusion - The findings of this study imply active recovery is a more effective intervention in the removal of blood lactate than sports massage. This study has tried to address the poor experimental control associated with previous studies using sports massage. Previous literature is supportive of the use of active recovery, meaning the results of this study add to this literature. Future research may focus on the combination of sports massage and active recovery as a form of treatment.
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