What is Sports Massage Anyway?
Sports massage is a form of massage that utilizes specific strokes to help athletes obtain maximum performance and physical conditioning by increasing power, endurance, and mobility—both before and after an event or exercise.
Who Can Benefit? Sports massage is particularly beneficial when an athlete is in training for an event. It’s also helpful for anyone who routinely stretches physical limits through movement. Swimmers, weight lifters, runners, golfers, ball players, skaters, dancers, yogis, tennis players, musicians, and boxers, as well as weekend warriors and those who practice strength training or aerobics, have benefited from sports massage.
How Is Sports Massage Administered? Sports massage should be a regular part of every athlete’s training program. Athletes have different massage needs at different times. There are three basic categories: Pre-Event A quick treatment is a supplement to warm-up. It boosts circulation and increases flexibility and range of motion, thereby reducing muscle pain and soreness, leaving muscles relaxed and ready for action. Pre-event massage can help prevent muscle and tendon injuries and reduce the strain and discomfort of training. It also can be a great psychological advantage in competition. Post-Event Recovery after a competition involves not only the normalization and repair of tissue, but also general relaxation and mental calming. Post-event sports massage increases circulation to boost the lymphatic system, relieve muscle spasms, and prevent soreness. It is used to assist athletes in recovery and in regaining their pre-event condition by relaxing tight, fatigued muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Training Throughout training and rigorous regular athletic activity, massage helps prevent injuries. Areas of muscular stress can result from repetitive or stressful motion and are typically precursors to injury. Sports massage assists in relieving muscular stress and preventing injuries, enabling harder and more consistent training. Adequate recovery is also a major factor in avoiding nagging minor injuries that inhibit maximum performance.
What Are The Common Causes Of Sports Injuries? Injuries are commonly experienced when an athlete has overtrained, fails to sufficiently warm up, receives trauma, or has muscular imbalances, poor flexibility, mineral deficiencies, inadequate endurance, or simply does too much too soon. Insufficient muscle strength and poor muscle tone may also lead to injury or a muscle tear.
How Can Sports Massage Help In Rehabilitation? Sports massage can accelerate the healing process, increase range of motion, reduce adhesions, and reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Areas of stress in other muscles, created through compensating for an injury, can be eased with a regular sports massage regimen. Sports massage can partially compensate for lack of exercise during inactivity while recovering from injury. Sports massage is also used to relieve muscular spasms and fatigue-related injuries.
Why Is Sports Massage Recommended? Sports massage is more than just a reward at the end of a workout. It is a vital tool for keeping athletes primed for top performance and even lengthening their careers. Recognized as an important part of a regular maintenance program, sports massage is widely used by individuals, teams, and Olympic and professional athletes.
What Areas Will Be Massaged? Sports massage may focus on specific muscles used in your sport or fitness activity. For example, areas of greater stress for runners and cyclists are the legs and lower back; for swimmers, the upper body.