Effect of preperformance lower-limb massage on thirty-meter sprint running

Jon E. Goodwin*, Mark Glaister, Glyn Howatson, Richard A. Lockey, Gillian McInnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Massage is a commonly utilized therapy within sports, frequently intended as an ergogenic aid prior to performance. However, evidence as to the efficacy of massage in this respect is lacking, and massage may in some instances reduce force production. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of massage on subsequent 30-m sprint running performance. Male university level repeat sprint sports players volunteered for the study (n = 37). After each of 3 treatment conditions, subjects completed a standardized warm-up followed by three 30-m sprint trials in a counterbalanced crossover design. Treatment conditions were 15 minutes of lower-limb massage (M), 15 minutes of placebo ultrasound (PU), and rest (R). Thirty-meter sprint times were recorded (including 10-m split times) for the 3 trials under each condition. Best times at 10 m (M: 1.85 ± 0.09 seconds, PU: 1.84 ± 0.11 seconds, R: 1.83 ± 0.10 seconds) and 30 m (M: 4.41 ± 0.27 seconds, PU: 4.39 ± 0.28 seconds, R: 4.39 ± 0.28 seconds) were not significantly different (p > 0.05). There was no significant treatment, trial, or interaction effect for 10- or 30-m sprint times (p > 0.05). No difference was seen in the location of subjects' best times across the 3 trials (p > 0.05). Relative to placebo or control, the results of this study showed that a controlled 15-minute lower-limb massage administered prior to warm-up had no significant effect on subsequent 30-m sprint performance. Massage remains indicated prior to performance where other benefits, such as reduced muscle spasm and psychological stress, might be served to the athlete.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1031
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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