What is a Sports Massage?
It was developed to help with the muscle systems used for a particular sport. A Sports Massage is typically a blend of several massage techniques, and are tailored to your affected muscles, based on the type of activities you do.
It is used to prepare the body for athletic activities and maintain an optimal condition, help prevent injuries, and to help athletes recover from workouts and/or injuries. It can be done before, during, or after an athletic event and/or training.
Why do you need a Sports Massage?
If you are an athlete, your training and continual improvement, is key to maintaining peak performance. As an athlete you train your body, pushing it to the limits, and as a result, your body is left beaten up, bruised, your muscles tight, achy and sore, and on occasion you may even get injured. A massage addresses those aches and pains.
Pain reduction can help an athlete press on to meet their goals, which may be encumbered by consistent pain, thereby, by simply promoting the proper healing of scar tissues, a therapist can provide a soothing effect to the injured area(s).
In addition to pain reduction/relief, a Sports Massage can help decrease stress and increase focus, setting you up with the right frame of mind for your next athletic event. Relaxation and focus are vital for an athlete’s performance.
How does a Sports Massage aid in the prevention of injuries?
One of the best reasons for a Sports Massage is injury prevention. A Sports Massage helps your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints, move within their proper range of motion, giving your body the opportunity to stay in optimum and peak shape.
Many injuries occur when you are overusing a certain muscle or muscle group, which can result in pain, inflammation and soreness. A Sports Massage can help alleviate the pain, reduce inflammation and soreness.
A massage is the most effective way of treating soft-tissue injuries like strains, sprains, and stress injuries. It can also help reduce the chance of injuries recurring.
What Are The Benefits of a Sports Massage?
Getting injured, or dealing with an injury can put a wrench in an athlete’s career, impairing not only their performance, but their training. Dealing with the pain and a limited range of mobility after an injury, is not just frustrating, but a time consuming process. It not only affects the physical body, but has a tendency to mess with ones mind. People start to question whether they are ever going to feel good, if they are getting too old for a specific sport.
A Sports Massage not only focuses on existing injuries, but can in turn help prevent injuries from occurring, by increasing the range of motion in muscles, utilizing PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation – fancy way to say we utilize some cool stretching techniques) and decreasing the recovery time between the athletic events, and their training and/or workout.
The overall benefit from massage therapy, is not solely related to simple relaxation, but also reduces heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the recovery time after an injury, rehab from an injury, increases the blood flow throughout the body, relieves muscle pain, relieves tension, and improves and promotes muscle elasticity and flexibility. Realize massage has been recognized since the time of the Romans for overall health, as well as recovery from exercise.
Massage therapy has been around since the Romans, and has made long strides from the idea that they are designed for simple spa treatments. In today’s world, massage is an integral part in preventative medicine, making the benefits of the Sports Massage a necessary and vital tool for an athlete’s overall performance. Whether you are a weekend warrior, or training for a competition, or want to improve your work out, Sports Massage makes sense as an instrument to assist in achieving your goals.
How does a Sports Massage benefit weightlifters, powerlifters, bodybuilders and strength sports?
The treatment of soft-tissue is an important part of the recovery process for many weightlifters, and is probably the most favored method, since it is used to speed up the recovery following heavy single workouts, and/or competition. It also aids in the prevention of injuries that might arise due to overuse, and of course aids in the rehabilitation process. A variety of massage strokes are used to accomplish this.
Long strokes are used to move fluid through the circulatory system. This helps repair the damaged muscles by increasing the supply of fresh blood and oxygen, and removing toxins that have built up in the tissues.
A deep massage helps to regulate the pores in the fibrous tissues which increases the permeability, allowing more fluids and nutrients to flow through the tissue. Waste products is then removed and nutrients and new oxygen is then supplied.
Stretching the tissue during a massage helps release the tension that has built up in the muscle fibers. By stretching the muscles lengthwise and sideways, it allows a natural flow of circulation within the muscle tissues.
Flexibility is a beneficial outcome, since massage therapy stretches the muscle fibers, flexibility is an added bonus. For a lifter, this is vital in maintaining optimal performance. Because high intensity and high volume workouts or competition, usually lead to increased muscle tension, the effect can cause adhesions, and a reduction of overall flexibility, which can increase your chances of injuries. In addition, tightness in one muscle group can cause muscle imbalance throughout the rest of your body.
A Sports Massage can improve circulation, and with better circulation a lifter can breathe easier and move more smoothly. Heavy training cycles cause micro trauma to the muscle and fascia tissue, the way this damage is repaired, is by increased blood flow. It follows that since massage helps the blood flow and circulation is improved, it will aid in enhancing their performance.
An obvious outcome from a Sports Massage is pain reduction. The less pain is felt, the better a strength athlete will perform. Since massage therapy reduces tension, another added benefit is better sleep patterns. Getting more and deeper sleep, gives the athlete the added benefit of performing at their best.
The ultimate impact of a Sport Massage is to increase the health of the body’s internal tissues, improving circulation of blood and nutrients, while simultaneously removing toxins. Decreased tension and muscle relaxation, can help drive the athlete into a better frame of mind, and improve performance. Having a massage once a week, can keep the lifter healthy, and improve their flexibility.