It's long been thought that a soothing massage is the best way to ease those post-workout aches and pains.
But new research suggests - rather depressingly - that doing more exercise can be just as effective.
'It's a common belief that massage is better, but it isn't,' said Lars Andersen, the lead author of the new study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 'In fact, massage and exercise have the same benefits.' Earlier research has shown that massage can offer some relief from workout soreness.
To understand how well how well light exercise compares, Professor Andersen, from the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, asked 20 women to do a shoulder exercise while hooked up to a resistance machine. The women
then received a 10-minute massage on one shoulder and did a 10-minute
'recovery' exercise on the other shoulder. Some women received the
massage first, while others performed the exercise first.
recovery exercise involved shoulder shrugs like the initial exercise;
but this time the women gripped an elastic tube held down by their foot
to provide resistance. Professor Andersen found
that, compared to a shoulder that wasn't getting any attention, both
massage and exercise each helped diminish muscle soreness.
Source - Daily Mail