Thursday, February 2, 2012

Science proves that massage reduces soreness after activity, doesn't reduce lactate

Every runner knows that there is nothing better than a light leg massage after a long run. And I know I am a true believer in getting a massage a week or so before a race, and a week or so after. It helps my muscles feel refreshed.

Everyone has different theories about what kind of massage to get and when to get them for peak athletic performance, but, now, scientists are coming closer to understanding the specifics of just how powerful massage can be.

In a new study conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and McMaster University, researchers found that massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle (which sounds like it is a good thing?). Another interesting find in this study is that massage does not release lactate that builds up in legs during activity, so you may want to do other techniques (I always try to do a few sprints after a long run) to try to help that.


Me after my half marathon PR. 

 I definitely remember needing a massage after this race, the Tucson Marathon in 2008.

Have you ever gotten a sports massage?

Do you believe in the power of massage when it comes to sports performance? If you do, when do you think is the best time to get a massage before or after an event?

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