The aim of this study is to explore
whether massage influences gymnasts’ hamstring range of motionCR1 . Gymnastics is portrayed to be a
powerful yet aesthetically pleasing sport to spectate, for the athletes to
perform skills they should have a large range of movement – their musculoskeletal
flexibility level is related to sports performance. (McNeal and Sands, 2006)CR2
systematic review led by Brummitt (2008) explored the role of massage in
improving an athletes’ performance and concluded massage doesn’t demonstrate
any positive impacts on performance. Many of the studies analysed were affected
by design flaws meaning that they are difficult to rely on. The studies
only showed temporary improvement CR3 with no
ability to predict effects on the future performance. This previous research
will enable the researcher to evaluate the negative aspects (e.g. design flawsCR4 ) and
incorporate steps to avoid the same mistakes occurring again in the study
Effleurage and petrissage massage have
been used on athletes for a substantial period of time, CR5 it’s believed to have many physiological
benefits such as improved range of motion and tissue flexibilityCR6 . It also thought to promote health and
wellbeing through its’ psychological effects, the relaxation of the muscles can
enable a calming effect on the athlete – allowing mental rehearsal. (Biancalana,
M. 2016) Despite
the lack of evidence, there’s a consensus that these benefits will lead to an
improvement of performanceCR7 . This study aims to prove or disprove
McKenchnie, Young and Behm (2007)
applied petrissage on the ankle for 3 minutes to evaluate the effect of the
massage on the participants’
CR8 plantar flexion flexibility. The results
indicated a moderate degree of effectiveness, there was no effect on the power
of the muscles. They concluded that massage is a good alternative warm-up
method to static stretching before an event, suggesting that it can positively affect
performanceCR9 . The effects of this research surface a
question of whether this would be the case for the knee extension muscles
(semitendinosus, semimembranosus and bicep femoris) in gymnasts. Although this
research is credited, it only involved 19 participants. This means that it is
less applicable to the population compared to Brummitt – a systematic review
will involve a larger quantity of participants.
A piece of research with a closer link
than the other mentioned research was conducted by Barlow (2004) who investigated
the effect of hamstring massage. Participants performed a sit and reach test
(SRT), followed by either 15-minutes worth of treatment CR10 massage
on the hamstring muscle group or supine rest with no treatment. The
participants were then retested, the results were used to calculate a mean change
The researchers concluded that one single massage cannot be attributed to an
increase in performance of the SRT. It is important to note that this study
conducted a similar method to the one given belowCR12 ,
meaning that the prediction of results may be similar.
The proposed study is required to
provide a reliable and valid conclusion on whether massage influences an athletes’
hamstring performanceCR13 .
of motion is more related to joints. Should you be focusing on hamstring
stop after the reference in brackets – follow Harvard system.
long would the improvement last?
you summarise what the key flaws were?
this length of time.
the references to support these statements.
seems contradictory to your last paragraph – be a bit more clear to show the
evidence that it does improve performance.
the type of participants – elite athletes, well trained etc…
it didn’t show any improvement in power.
type of massage?
change in what – performance? Sit and reach test?
yours? The proposed method?
the justification for why this needs to be done – you have some contradictory
evidence, the systematic review saying there was no effect – perhaps only short
term but no detail as to what length they were talking about; some suggestion
massage does have an effect – but little evidence presented, so detail this
contradiction further to help create the reason why you are proposing the
Also explain more about why you need to investigate
this in gymnastics specifically.