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November 17, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(12):1117-1119. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970290013005

• Three methods of warming-up were compared as to their effects on the time required for seven athletes in a 440-yd. (402-m.) run. The means were obtained from 20 runs after five minutes of deep massage of each leg, 20 runs after five minutes of superficial massage (digital stroking) of each leg, and 20 runs after preliminary exercise. The differences found among these three methods of warming-up were statistically not significant. In a second experiment the performance of five runners in the 440-yd. run without warming-up exercise was compared with their performance after superficial massage; again the difference was insignificant. In a third experiment, an attempt was made to verify reports of other investigators that warming up by preliminary exercise improved performance; the test consisted of completing 35 pedal revolutions of a bicycle ergometer in the shortest possible time, the amount of work being 956 kg.-m. The warming-up exercise consisted of 60 pedal revolutions per minute for five minutes with a load of 5.5 lb. (2.5 kg.); it increased the mean muscle temperature by 1.3 C (2.3 F), but the effect upon performance again was not significant. Outstanding performances in the first experiment were made by men who had warmed up by deep massage, but an outstanding performance in the second experiment was made by a man who had not done any preliminary warming-up. In these experiments neither deep or superficial massage nor preliminary exercise improved the time of running; there was no evidence that massage had a beneficial psychological effect on the runner or that preliminary exercise improved sprint performance on the bicycle ergometer.