BLOOD LACTATE REMOVAL USING COMBINED MASSAGE AND ACTIVE RECOVERY


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The elimination of blood lactate (BLa), following anaerobic exercise, is significantly accelerated during active recovery (AR) compared to rest recovery (RR). Massage recovery (MR) however, is no more effective than RR for BLa clearance. Monedero and Donne (2000) reported that combined active-massage-active recovery, compared to RR, significantly improved BLa clearance and subsequent 5km cycling times. Unfortunately, the combined recovery protocol they used was too complex for practical application and comparisons were not made against a control active-rest-active recovery condition.PURPOSETo evaluate the effectiveness of combined massage-active recovery (MAR) on i) BLa clearance and, ii) exercise performance. METHOD: Twenty-five healthy subjects were used (age: 33.9 ± 8.9 yrs, body mass: 80.2 ± 11.8 kg, height: 176.3 ± 7.5 cm). Five subjects were randomly assigned to one of five conditions in which they completed a 30-second Wingate test before and after a 20-minute recovery period comprising either: i) rest (RR), ii) leg massage (MR), iii) active cycling at 37\% VO2max, (AR), iv) combined rest-active recovery or (RAR), v) combined massage-active recovery (MAR).RESULTSThe relative reduction in blood lactate concentration was significantly greater in the AR group (p <0.05) and the MAR group (p <0.05) than in the RR group. There were no significant differences between the groups in repeated Wingate test parameters.CONCLUSIONSMAR is equally effective at BLa elimination as AR alone. Factors other than improved circulation (since this is already maximal following anaerobic exercise), during the massage portion of combined recovery, may have impacted upon the subsequent active recovery causing an improved rate of BLa clearance.

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