Author(s): Forman J, Geertsen L, Rogers ME
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Many studies have evaluated the effects of different interventions on hamstring length. However, little research has been conducted on the effects of deep stripping massage strokes (DSMS) alone, or combined with eccentric resistance, on hamstring length and strength. PURPOSE: To determine: 1) if DSMS have an effect on hamstring length and strength and 2) if the effects on hamstring length and strength are any different when DSMS are combined with eccentric exercise. METHODS: 89 Community College students and community members between the ages of 18 and 62 volunteered for the study. Of these, 64 demonstrated tight hamstrings on either one or both sides as defined by supine, passive terminal knee extension of ≤75° and participated in the study. Strength was assessed by pressing the posterior calcaneus into a strain gauge for approximately 5 s while seated with the knee flexed to 90°. On their tighter side, participants were administered longitudinal DSMS during 15, 10-s bouts of eccentric resistance with an elastic resistance band. On their other hamstring, participants were administered 15, 10-s longitudinal DSMS while lying passive. All massage strokes were performed at a depth of 7 out of 10 on a verbal pressure scale index. Afterwards, the hamstring flexibility and strength tests were repeated. RESULTS: Both DSMS with eccentric resistance (10.7\%) and DSMS alone (6.3\%) resulted in improved (p < 0.01) hamstring flexibility. The improvement following DSMS with eccentric resistance was greater (p < 0.05) than following DSMS alone. Strength was not significantly affected by either treatment. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that DSMS increases hamstring length in less than 3 min but has no affect on strength. Furthermore, combining DSMS with eccentric resistance produces more hamstring flexibility gains than DSMS alone and does not affect strength. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Bodyw Mov Ther
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies