How different durations (10 / 30 minute) of effleurage (sports massage) on the quadriceps and hamstrings affect performance and heat retention when performing a YMCA test
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Background - There is a lack of scientific evidence to confirm the efficacy of massage for promoting both physiological and psychological preparation and recovery after exercise. There are very few English articles published investigating the effects of massage on actual performance, much of the research supporting massage has been conducted in the Soviet Union, but has not yet been translated into English. Aim - The purpose of the present study was to analyse the effect of pre-event Sports Massage (Effleurage) on sporting performance, three conditions were used, a control, a 10 minute massage and a 30 minute massage. Methods - Eight subjects completed three YMCA tests on a cycle ergometer on three separate occasions. Subjects either received a 10 minute massage, 30 minute massage or no massage at all before performing the YMCA test. Thermographic images were taken of the Quadriceps and Hamstrings before and after the massage and following the exercise. Heart Rates, Core Temperature and Skin Temperature were also all taken before and after massage and following exercise. Blood Lactate, VO2 and Rates of Perceived Exertion were taken before, during and after the YMCA test. ii Results - A between-subjects t-test showed a significant difference for Heart Rate between control and 30 minute massage, for all results concerning VO2 (P < 0.05) and Skin Temperature (P < 0.05). There were marginal decreases in Blood Lactate following the 10 minute massage, applying massage for longer (30 minutes) had no further effect on Lactate concentration. Core Temperature did not alter to a significant degree, although there was a slight drop in temperature (P > 0.05). Rate of Perceived Exertion was not effected by massage, as results were similar for each protocol. Conclusion - These findings provide some physiological support for the use of pre-event massage to prepare an athlete for competition and to enhance performance. More research is required into different Sports Massage techniques to see how they compare / differ to the current findings.
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