Can massage reduce muscle soreness in bodybuilders?
Efficacy of massage on muscle soreness, perceived recovery, physiological restoration and physical performance in male bodybuilders, by Kargarfard, Lam, Shariat, Shaw, Shaw & Tamrin, in Journal of Sports Sciences (2015)
The researchers assessed the effects of massage on post-workout muscle soreness and muscle damage in a group of natural, male bodybuilders.
- Population: 30 healthy, natural male bodybuilders, aged 29 ± 4 years, randomly allocated to either a massage group or to a control group
- Intervention: All subjects incurred a workout designed to produce DOMS. This workout comprised 5 sets of squats with 75% of 1RM to failure, followed by an additional 5 sets of leg press with 75% of 1RM to failure, followed by an isometric knee extension hold for time with the right leg using 50% of maximum isometric force. The subjects in the massage group received a massage 2 hours post-workout, comprising the standard techniques of effleurage, petrissage, and vibration.
- Comparison: The two groups were compared with each other and with baseline measures
- Outcomes: perceived muscle soreness (using a visual analog scale [VAS]), muscle damage as measured by serum creatine kinase (from blood samples), muscular performance (by reference to vertical jump height, agility test ability, and maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) knee extension torque.
What did the researchers find?
What are the practical implications?