Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 06, 498 - 504

Research article
Acute Effects of Two Massage Techniques on Ankle Joint Flexibility and Power of the Plantar Flexors
Grant J.B. McKechnie1, Warren B. Young1, David G. Behm,2 
Author Information
1 School of Human Movement and Sports Science, University of Ballarat, University Drive, Mount Helen, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
2 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada

David G. Behm
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's Newfoundland, Canada, A1M 3L8
Publish Date
Received: 26-07-2007
Accepted: 18-09-2007
Published (online): 01-12-2007
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The purpose of this study was to determine if three minutes of petrissage and tapotement forms of massage would influence plantar flexors’ flexibility, and muscle power. Nineteen participants were randomly subjected to three conditions (control and two massages) before performing two power tests. Prior to the intervention, subjects completed ankle joint flexibility assessments. The conditions were; (1) control, where subjects lay prone and had a therapist’s hands resting, (2) vigorous petrissage, and (3) tapotement applied at a rate of 4Hz; all on the triceps surae. Following completion of the intervention, subjects immediately completed a post- ankle joint flexibility test, followed by a drop-jump and concentric calf raise. The power measures were; concentric peak force, rate of force development, and drop-jump height / contact time. The data showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in ankle joint angle on the right leg and a corresponding tendency on the left. No significant change was seen with the power measures. Results suggest that massage can increase plantar flexors’ flexibility without a change in power and thus may be an alternative to static stretching during an athletic warm-up.

Key words: petrissage, tapotement, warm-up, range of motion, jumps

           Key Points
  • Three minutes of petrissage and tapotement forms of massage increased ankle flexibility.
  • Massage did not adversely affect jump power measures.
  • Massage may be an effective alternative to static stretching as a component of a pre-event warm-up.
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