Peculiarities of Fencers’ Recovery in Pre-Сompetition Period When Using Foam Roller Massage

Keywords: fencers, swordsmen, pre-competition period, recovery, massage, myofascial release, foam roller


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of foam rolling on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and the recovery of fencers’ technical and tactical qualities during a pre-competition period.

Materials and methods. The study participants were male fencers (n = 12), SC “Unifeht”, aged 18.77 ± 2.55 years (6 – experimental group (EG), 6 – control group (CG)). The study lasted for two weeks of the pre-competition period. The CG fencers performed a self-myofascial release using a foam roller (BLACKROLL) for 20 minutes five times a week. The EG athletes were given partial restorative massage using a foam roller (10 + 10 minutes) five times a week. To assess the effectiveness of massage treatments, the study subjectively evaluated delayed onset muscle soreness, evaluated the impact of pain on daily life and changes in the parameters of the fencers’ technical and tactical qualities. The Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (r) was used to roughly estimate the causal relationship between the existing factor and the emergence of the effect. The study compared original characteristics of the groups, using Mann-Whitney tests to compare the distribution of ordinal variables, Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon tests (linked samples). A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance was carried out to estimate the impact of existing factors.

Results. For two weeks of using a restorative massage and myofascial release, the study observed a significant increase in the parameters of the fencers’ technical and tactical qualities and a reduction in subjective pain in both groups (p < 0.05). However, the EG athletes had a more positive subjective assessment of delayed onset muscle soreness at the time of survey than the CG members (0.2 ± 0.1 points in comparison with 1.5 ± 0.4; p < 0.05) and a more significant reduction of the impact of pain on daily life (scales of walking ability, normal work at home and outside the home, sleep, p < 0.05). At the same time, in two of the three tests that characterized the fencers’ technical and tactical qualities, the results were significantly higher in the EG (test exercise with thrust: 89.9 ± 2.8% in the CG in comparison with 98.6 ± 4.1% in the EG, and the test exercise with the coach’s occasional task: 88.2 ± 2.1% in the CG in comparison with 95.4 ± 3.8% in the EG, p < 0.05).

Conclusions. Massage treatments and self-myofascial release reduce the level of delayed onset muscle soreness, improve the recovery of technical and tactical qualities of fencers and reduce the impact of pain on daily life. The study has proved that foam rolling is effective in fencers’ recovery. This massage technique is relatively accessible, simple and it greatly facilitates a massage therapist’s work.


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Author Biographies

I. V. Kriventsova, H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University

Department of martial arts, fencing and power sports
Alchevskikh St, 29, Kharkiv, 61003, Ukraine

S. A. Pashkevych, Kharkiv State Academy of Physical Culture

Klochkivska St, 99, Kharkiv, 61022, Ukraine




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How to Cite
Kriventsova, I., & Pashkevych, S. (2019). Peculiarities of Fencers’ Recovery in Pre-Сompetition Period When Using Foam Roller Massage. Teorìâ Ta Metodika Fìzičnogo Vihovannâ, 19(2), 55-63.
Fundamentals of Sports Training