The aim of this study is to explorewhether massage influences gymnasts’ hamstring range of motionCR1 .
Gymnastics is portrayed to be apowerful yet aesthetically pleasing sport to spectate, for the athletes toperform skills they should have a large range of movement – their musculoskeletalflexibility level is related to sports performance. (McNeal and Sands, 2006)CR2 Asystematic review led by Brummitt (2008) explored the role of massage inimproving an athletes’ performance and concluded massage doesn’t demonstrateany positive impacts on performance. Many of the studies analysed were affectedby design flaws meaning that they are difficult to rely on. The studiesonly showed temporary improvement CR3 with noability to predict effects on the future performance. This previous researchwill enable the researcher to evaluate the negative aspects (e.g.
design flawsCR4 ) andincorporate steps to avoid the same mistakes occurring again in the studyproposed. Effleurage and petrissage massage havebeen used on athletes for a substantial period of time, CR5 it’s believed to have many physiologicalbenefits such as improved range of motion and tissue flexibilityCR6 . It also thought to promote health andwellbeing through its’ psychological effects, the relaxation of the muscles canenable a calming effect on the athlete – allowing mental rehearsal.
(Biancalana,M. 2016) Despitethe lack of evidence, there’s a consensus that these benefits will lead to animprovement of performanceCR7 . This study aims to prove or disprovethese assumptions.
McKenchnie, Young and Behm (2007)applied petrissage on the ankle for 3 minutes to evaluate the effect of themassage on the participants’CR8 plantar flexion flexibility. The resultsindicated a moderate degree of effectiveness, there was no effect on the powerof the muscles. They concluded that massage is a good alternative warm-upmethod to static stretching before an event, suggesting that it can positively affectperformanceCR9 . The effects of this research surface aquestion of whether this would be the case for the knee extension muscles(semitendinosus, semimembranosus and bicep femoris) in gymnasts. Although thisresearch is credited, it only involved 19 participants. This means that it isless applicable to the population compared to Brummitt – a systematic reviewwill involve a larger quantity of participants.
A piece of research with a closer linkthan the other mentioned research was conducted by Barlow (2004) who investigatedthe effect of hamstring massage. Participants performed a sit and reach test(SRT), followed by either 15-minutes worth of treatment CR10 massageon the hamstring muscle group or supine rest with no treatment. Theparticipants were then retested, the results were used to calculate a mean changevalueCR11 .The researchers concluded that one single massage cannot be attributed to anincrease in performance of the SRT. It is important to note that this studyconducted a similar method to the one given belowCR12 ,meaning that the prediction of results may be similar. The proposed study is required toprovide a reliable and valid conclusion on whether massage influences an athletes’hamstring performanceCR13 . CR1Rangeof motion is more related to joints. Should you be focusing on hamstringflexibility instead? CR2Fullstop after the reference in brackets – follow Harvard system.
CR3Howlong would the improvement last? CR4Canyou summarise what the key flaws were? CR5Specifythis length of time. CR6Providethe references to support these statements. CR7Thisseems contradictory to your last paragraph – be a bit more clear to show theevidence that it does improve performance. CR8Detailthe type of participants – elite athletes, well trained etc… CR9Howeverit didn’t show any improvement in power.
CR10Whattype of massage? CR11Menachange in what – performance? Sit and reach test? CR12Toyours? The proposed method? CR13Increasethe justification for why this needs to be done – you have some contradictoryevidence, the systematic review saying there was no effect – perhaps only shortterm but no detail as to what length they were talking about; some suggestionmassage does have an effect – but little evidence presented, so detail thiscontradiction further to help create the reason why you are proposing thestudy. Also explain more about why you need to investigatethis in gymnastics specifically.