Looking for a Legal Performance Enhancer? Try a Massage | STACK

Looking for a Legal Performance Enhancer? Try a Massage

February 21, 2012 | Randi Weitzman

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

A massage always feels good after a tension-filled day or an intense workout. Now, Canadian researchers have found that a simple 10-minute massage after a 70-minute workout may have real performance benefits.

In the February issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine, researcher Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, describes a study in which 11 young men exercised to exhaustion, after which only one of each participant's legs was massaged. The researchers took tissue samples from both legs over a period of time. In the massaged muscle tissues, they found a reduction in inflammation and an increase in mitochondria, an energy source that keeps the body going during increased activity.

The study, combined with previous research suggesting that massages can help boost the body's immune system, is helping to change the post-game massage from a feel-good treatment to a legitimate performance enhancer. If a 10-minute massage can help you feel better for the next day and come out stronger in the second half, why not take a few minutes to knead your muscles in the locker room?

Even if you lack access to a professional masseur or masseuse, you can always massage yourself by running your hands along your muscles, looking for knots. Once you find one, simply rub in a circular motion with two of your fingers for a minute or two to release it. Many trainer also recommend foam rolling, both before and after a workout, to loosen muscles and remove toxins. (Read more about foam rollers.)

Treat yourself to a post-activity massage and find out for yourself whether it helps you perform better the next day. Let us know your results on our Facebook page or by tweeting us @STACKMedia.

Photo:  aileenross.com

Topics: NEWS
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

With the increasing prevalence in functional training, cross fit, and fitness regimens aimed at producing a more functional and well-rounded athlete one...

Why a Sports Hernia Won't Ruin Jadeveon Clowney's Rookie Season

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

Why Your Shin Splints Aren't Really Shin Splints

4 Exercises to Fix Bad Posture and Help You Move Better

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Should Pitchers Ice After Throwing to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?

The New Rules for Cryotherapy: Why You're Icing Wrong

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

How to Protect Yourself From Heat Stroke This Summer

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Nike Basketball Releases 2014 Christmas Collection

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

3 Ways to Protect Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries

Maintaining Your Lower-Body Strength After Tommy John Surgery

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

Introducing the Football You Can Throw 100+ Yards

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Does Loss of Sleep Have Same Effects as Sports Head Injuries?

How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Defeat the Witch Doctor's Curse

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

The 14 Most Beastly Plays of 2014

Tommy John Surgery 10 Times More Common Than a Decade Ago

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

The 5 Foods That Will Rule 2015

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

How to Train With Shin Splints

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

Nike Basketball Officially Unveils the Nike Kyrie 1

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

How to Avoid Softball Pitching Injuries

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?