Do you want to learn more about sports massage and why it is good for your body, mind,and overall health? If so, let this article introduce you to this popular treatment technique for soft tissue injuries. Regularly scheduled sports massages help all kinds of athletes – from daily or weekend joggers to world-class sports professionals.
If you are an athlete or a sports enthusiast, making sports massage a part of your regular routine will help you
It focuses on stressed and overused body parts, protecting them from injury due to aggressive and repetitive movements. With its many benefits, sports massage is indeed a useful component of your balanced training regimen.
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Sports Massage Defined
As mentioned earlier, sports massage refers to a treatment technique or a kind of bodywork that focuses on athletes and other individuals who participate in all kinds of sports. It has several functions – one of which is to prevent injuries. The technique is also useful in preparing an athlete’s body for any sports or athletic activity and ensuring that his or her body parts stay in their best condition.
Sports massage also helps ensure that athletes easily recover from injuries and strenuous workouts. It comes in three basic forms: pre-event, maintenance, and post-event massage. These three forms can all work deeply into your muscles with the goal of realigning your connective tissues and muscle fibers while also flushing out toxins.
More is involved in a sports massage than simple pampering. In fact, you will experience some discomfort, especially when you first try it. However, as you make it a part of your regular regimen, you will get used to it and start to enjoy its many benefits.
Sports Massage Techniques
- Trigger Point Therapy
One of the most common techniques used in sports massage is trigger point therapy, a bodywork technique that requires the therapist to apply pressure to tender muscle tissues. The goal is to cure pain and dysfunction in various parts of the body.
This technique is all about performing compression movements that focus on a specific muscle group. The movements help loosen tight muscles and ease soreness.
This technique aims to relax your muscles. One can execute it by gripping the target muscle (e.g., the hamstring or triceps) using one’s hands, then shaking it for around ten seconds. This helps eliminate muscle stiffness and alleviate muscle cramps that usually occur during games and practices.
- Muscle Stripping
You can use this technique if your goal is to smooth out scartissue or knots. It requires that you apply deep pressure using your two thumbs atthe center of your muscle. Do this slowly three to five times. If you want to applyeven deeper pressure, consider using just one thumb with the help of a fewfingers from your other hand. However, make sure the deep massage does notcause any pain.
Five Actual Sport Massage Benefits
Many athletes are already aware of how effective various sports massage techniques are in terms of promoting flexibility, boosting endurance, minimizing fatigue, preparing both the mind and body for optimal performance, and preventing injuries. If you are still new to this form of therapy, here’s how it can benefit you:
- Prevents serious athletic injuries
You can attain this benefit by taking advantage of the pre-event sports massage. It is beneficial in the sense that it warms up your muscles, stretches them, and makes them more flexible, thereby promoting excellent athletic performance. With the pre-event massage, you can stimulate the proper flow of nutrients and blood to your muscles,thereby loosening muscles, reducing muscle tension, and making you psychologically ready for your upcoming events.
- Reduces swelling triggered by micro-traumas
Micro-trauma is a condition that athletes often experience when they exercise heavily. It results in swollen muscles due to tiny tears. With sports massage, Athletes can easily deal with this condition. The technique helps loosen tired and stiff muscles, improving flexibility and promoting proper blood flow to the muscles, which lessens the risk of waste and lactic acid build-up and prevents cramping. Furthermore, it is effective in alleviating pain, soreness and strains while also speeding up your recovery time.
- Stimulates the proper flow of nutrients and blood to your muscles
You can get this benefit by getting a maintenance sports massage once every week. In addition to promoting the proper flow of nutrients and blood, it also loosens your tissues, enabling various muscle layers to easily slide over each other. It also minimizes the risk of scar tissue development while boosting your range of motion and flexibility.
- Prevents delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
A painful condition often affecting athletes, DOMS usually starts developing 12-24 hours after the performance of a strenuous exercise. Severe pain will also start within 24-72 hours after the exercise. By getting a sports massage, you can stimulate proper lymph and blood flow to different parts of your body, thereby preventing muscle fatigue and the onset of muscle pain and soreness.
- Promotes relaxation
A good sports massage technique can generate heat that relaxes your muscles. It can also promote muscle relaxation through proper circulation and various stretching techniques. That’s the main reason why the massage is also used to relieve anxiety and stress. The session stimulates your mechanoreceptors to sense pressure, warmth, and touch, triggering a reflex relaxation.
Sports Massage Therapy Equipment
Now that you know some of the many benefits of making sports massage a regular part of your training regimen, it is time to learn more about the equipment you must prepare and use to start taking advantage of the therapy. Some of the basic equipment that can guarantee a great experience include massage tables, mats, chairs, charts, and anatomical supplies.
Aromatherapy oils, oil blends, and scented candles are also essential in each sports massage session. They can enhance the massage’s effect while soothing your mind and body. You can also boost the massage’s calming and soothing effects on your mind and body by playing relaxing music in the background.
You will know that you are getting a good massage if the therapist uses effective tools,like thumpers to stimulate pressure points; massagers to rub, massage, and relieve pressure on different body parts; and exercisers designed to strengthen your hands,forearms, and fingers.
If you are an athlete or a sports enthusiast, making sports massage a part of your regular routine will help you. Applying the right techniques can improve your athletic performance while preventing the injuries and overexertion that can harm various parts of your body.