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J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Mar;28(3):716-27. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182aa5e7c.

Including stretches to a massage routine improves recovery from official matches in basketball players.

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1Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom; 2Faculty of Life Sciences, London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom; and 3Department of Biomolecular and Sport Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of incorporating stretches into a massage recovery treatment after a competitive basketball match on perceptual and physical markers of recovery. Nine men (age: 22 ± 3 years; stature: 191.2 ± 8.5 cm; body mass: 90.9 ± 10.1 kg; and body fat: 12.4 ± 4.7%) and 8 women (age: 21 ± 3 years; stature: 176.4 ± 8.1 cm; body mass: 73.9 ± 9.7 kg; and body fat: 21.9 ± 5.5%) who are national-level basketball players received a massage, a massage and stretching, or no treatment immediately after a competitive match. The perception of overall fatigue and leg soreness was assessed immediately after the treatment and 24 hours later, whereas countermovement jump (CMJ) and repeated sprint ability (RSA) were tested 24 hours after the treatment. Compared with massage, massage and stretching induced lower perception of leg soreness immediately only in women (p ≤ 0.001; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.86), whereas a longer lasting effect was observed in men, with a difference between treatments reported after 24 hours (p ≤ 0.001; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.94). Furthermore, both treatments resulted in a better CMJ performance compared with the control condition in men only (p = 0.0001; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.33), and massage and stretching involved a lower performance decrement during RSA compared with massage in women only (p = 0.015; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.29). The results suggest that women benefit slightly more from the combination treatment than men, and therefore this type of recovery intervention should be adopted by physiotherapists working with women teams in particular.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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