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I have believed for quite some time that slapping limbs is "good for blood circulation", without ever looking more into it. After getting curious about it, I found a lot of claims that it's good for many things, from emotional well-being to face skin tone, but no good evidence for it.

The closest I've found to a good source is this rowing article:

A couple theories did emerge from those discussions, along the lines of the following:

  • believed to slow lactic acid build up (which does not seem to be based in science)
  • increases blood flow/keeps muscles loose (which does)
  • a habit that could be derived from the above

When looking on pubmed, I was unable to find anything related using "slap" and "tap" as keywords.

Does slapping parts of your body increase blood flow in a way that helps with physical activity?

  • Smack, strike, hit ... Perhaps a consult with a thesaurus would help – fredsbend Sep 18 at 2:00
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    Not good enough for an answer, but as per fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/36752/…, this is seen in various martial arts as a means to train to not be distracted by getting hit, and there's an unrelated practice in various calisthenics to set someone know they've done a good rep (I initially thought it had to do with blood flow). – Sean Duggan Sep 18 at 20:42
  • I recall in a Found Footage Film Festival a "Caveman Workout" tape that advocated for beating your chest. – Schwern Sep 19 at 2:59

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