Rodenburg, J. B., Steenbeek, D., Schiereck, P., & Bar, P. R. (1994). Warm-up, stretching and massage diminish harmful effects of eccentric exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 15, 414-419.

Normal people were divided into a treatment (N = 25) group and a control group (N = 25). Both groups performed eccentric exercise with forearm flexors for 30 minutes. The treatment group additionally performed a warm-up and stretched before the exercise and were massaged after. Functional and biochemical measures were taken 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours post-exercise.

Delayed onset muscle soreness was improved in the treatment group. Maximal force, elbow flexion, and creatine kinase activity in the blood were also altered beneficially for the treatment group. There was no time by treatment interaction. However, the results are inconsistent since some parameters were significantly affected where others were not.

It was also concluded that objective measures of DOMS did not yield more reliable results than subjective measures.

Implication. A treatment package of warm-up and stretching prior to exercise and massage after exercise did have a small affect on the experience of delayed onset muscular soreness. This constitutes a minor justification for pre- and post-exercise activities to assist in maintaining a better status for athletes who perform highly fatiguing intense exercise. Subjective measures of DOMS are just as reliable as are objective measures.

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