So you’re no Lebron James or Manny Pacquiao, but that does not mean that you’re not an athlete. This goes for the ladies too — just because you don’t train for a living and battle until you’re beat and broken, does not make you a poor fit for the sports massage. The sports massage is for all levels of athletes, the gym rat, the 5K runner, and even the soccer mom! If you’d rather learn the techniques yourself, so you can help a friend in need or start your own business, check out our course on Sports Massage.
Although sports massage was designed to help athletes prepare for peak performance, train hard, and recover after a sporting event, it has been shown to be useful in many other contexts as well. The sports massage can be just as effective for a daily jogger as it is for Usain Bolt, the fastest man ever! It makes no difference whether you are towing your toddler in a stroller or bench pressing 700 pounds at a competition, tension builds up in the muscles and that pressure should be alleviated.
Athletes often get sports massages to relieve swelling and lessen fatigue after difficult training sessions or games. If you’re the type of person that likes to workout or play sports without stretching, tightness is likely to be a major issue. Your muscles will tighten up and it can prevent you from being at your peak. Next time you’re at the gym, try incorporating a some stretching into your routine before the workout and afterwards. If you’ve never used one to help you loosen up, try taking a look at How to Use a Foam Roller. This targeted massage will also help break down muscle tension, promote flexibility, and break down scar tissue in trouble areas. Sports massage focuses on injury prevention, injury treatment, and targeted muscle and tendon massage. Sports massage also caters to people suffering from chronic pain, lessened range of motion, or other injuries.
If one of your primary ailments is tension or stress that has accumulated over time and through exercise, sports massage is the perfect treatment for you. Some added benefits of sports massage include a reduction in blood pressure and heart rate, a reduction in muscle tension, increased blood flow, pain relief and increased flexibility. Further, to lengthen your career as an athlete or ensure that you can go hiking and running as often as you like, this massage will help you strengthen and maintain your muscles. In turn, this will promote top performance and longevity.
As I mentioned before, sports massage is as beneficial to the Olympic athlete as it is for the yoga fiend. The stroking techniques are designed to help move fluid through the body, accelerating recovery time for tight or damaged muscles. Massage not only increases the circulation, but it also helps stretch the muscles.
Massage can help stretch tissue that a person cannot stretch themselves. It releases pressure and tension in the muscle and breaks scar tissue down from prior damage and injury to the muscles. Scar tissue is one of the major limiting factors to flexibility. After someone has recently undergone surgery or prolonged immobility, the muscles lose some of their flexibility and range of motion. Sports massage can help you return to a normal and comfortable range of motion.
There are generally four different kinds of sports massages that are offered: pre-workout, post workout, restorative, and rehabilitative. Each offers something a little different to the athlete, while still bringing the same healing cornerstones for athletic performance.
The pre-workout massage is typically a short and intense session, designed to target the areas of the body that will be used in the contest. This massage is usually conducted within an hour of the competition. Next, the post-workout massage is typically given within an hour or two after competition ends, to regulate the body’s tissues and relieve tension in the muscles.
Then, we have the restorative massage which is an ongoing process throughout training. This massage helps the athlete to train longer and tougher, while reducing injury. Finally, we have the rehabilitative massage, this the most common type of massage for the general public. It is aimed to relieve injury from pain and restore the body to optimal performance.
You may always feel pain in certain areas, or perhaps you only feel soreness after a tough workout. So you wonder, when is the right time to get a sports massage? Well, a sports massage is a good option where you can point to a specific area or areas of pain. Maybe you have some tendonitis in your knee or your hip clicks and pops when you run. Sports massage is not generally for an all around, full body massage, it is targeted to specific areas.
So then, what is the difference between a sports massage and any other type? Well there are a few things. Sports massages are designed for athletically inclined people, people who enjoy sports and an active lifestyle. Also, the person delivering the massage should have been specially trained to understand the different sports and common injuries that arise in those sports. For example, if you have an injury from playing basketball at the gym, the massage can be specifically targeted to your problem areas and help loosen up the muscles that get used the most in that sport.
You no longer have to avoid the sports massage because you’re not an olympian or professional athlete. Now you have the fun facts when it comes to sports massage, so you can decide if it is right for you. Even if you have no experience before with giving or receiving massages, you can take a look at our course on how to Give an Awesome Amateur Massage. If all you want right now is to relax your muscles and relieve general stress and tension, take a look at our 10 Minute Daily Invigorator course.