Sports massage helps athletes achieve their maximum performance. It enhances their conditioning, decreases their recovery times from workouts, and addresses or prevents injuries. Thus, many college, professional and olympic training regimen make sports massage an integral part of their programs. Many athletes believe it allows them to push their physical limits further to give them that extra edge. Sports massage can also benefit those that might not be athletes, but have strenuous activities as a regular part of their lives, such as mothers and landscapers.
What is Sport Massage?
Sports massage therapy utilizes various massage techniques to treat aches, pains and injuries of soft tissues associated with strenuous activities. Each sport uses different muscle groups in specific ways. The repetitive use of these muscle groups as required in sports causes an extra burden on them. A massage therapist trained in sports massage is familiar with how these muscles are utilized. Thus, they can determine what massage techniques are most appropriate for each individual. Among these techniques are swedish massage techniques, deep tissue therapy, trigger point work, and positional release.
Types of Sports Massage
Three kinds of sessions can be considered for sports massage therapy. These are pre-event, post-event and maintenance. A pre-event massage, is given before a workout or event. This helps warm up the muscles to increase mobility and prevent injuries. It stimulates the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles, loosens the muscles giving a better range of motion and provides a boost to the psychological readiness.
A post-event massage helps improve recovery time and prevent injuries. It’s benefits include,
- clears out the lactate buildup after a hard work out,
- decreases the delayed muscle soreness
- enhances the range of motion and,
- increases relaxation
- decreases the heart rate and blood pressure.
Many athletes incorporate regular massages into their training regimen for maintenance purposes. The physiological and psychological benefits of massage make it an ideal complement to a total conditioning program. Regular massages can address the wear-and-tear and minor injuries that naturally occur with strenuous movement. Consequently, athletes can get into good shape faster with less stiffness and soreness and improved recovery times, and relieves conditions which may cause injury. Regular massage can also help relieve the stress felt from the pressure of combining family, work and athletic routine in daily life.
Scheduling a Sport Massage
Massage therapy every week or two may be a great addition to your normal regimen. To maximize your time and for the best massage, be sure to discuss what sports you do, areas of concern and previous and current injuries.
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