Sports Massage and What Is In It for You
Sports Massage Information For All!
Sports massage has its long history in the sports and fitness world; in fact, in as early as 776 BC of the first Olympic Games, athletes had been given massage before a sports event. In 1924, Paavo Nurmi, a runner, won five Olympic gold medals and claimed his wins were much attributed to his special therapeutic massage because it was able to enhance his physical performance dramatically.
Then in 1985, the American Massage Therapy Association founded the National Sports Massage Team for providing the Boston runners with massage, and even if the NSMT had been long gone, therapeutic massage is still given to athletes, exercisers and bodybuilders and is recognized as a specialty.
From sports medicine clinics, to professional bodybuilding facilities and to university athletic centers, formulating new ideas and making concepts work for enhancing sports and training performance has always been an integral part of every program. One of the most widely used techniques recognized by the American Massage Therapy Association, champion athletes and coaches is sports massage.
Therapeutic massage is valued in the fitness and sports medicine world because it can enhance athletic performance and success, but really is it?
It is done though manipulating the body’s soft tissue structure in order to calm it and prevent it from stress. It is believed that sports massage can also enhance the body’s recovery rate from illness and injury from sports and heavy workouts.
According to research and studies performed by the Miami School of Medicine, sports massage therapy dramatically reduces the body’s cortisol, dopamine and norepinephrine levels. In addition, certain research revealed that therapeutic massage after a heavy workout or sport training may reduce pain and may slow down the onset of muscle soreness.
However, bodybuilders, sports players and fitness seekers looking to get this therapeutic massage should only see an expert in sports massage therapy, as one should be familiar with every muscle group and should know how each of them is affected by the specific stresses and movements of each sport. A sports massage therapist should also be trained with basic and advanced cryotherapy and hydrotherapy techniques. This kind of massage is based on Swedish applications, including those of the standard petrissage, effeleurage, tapotement and vibration.
Who May Have a Sports Massage?
It may suit golf and tennis players, skiers, gymnasts and swimmers, among other sports layers whose activities require powerful movements. Fitness trainees and trainers engaging in heavy workouts as well as people doing physical jobs, such as planting a garden and moving furniture may have it.
What Are The Kinds of Athletic Massage Therapy?
Used to enhance athletic performance and prevent injury before playing sports, such as boxing, Karate and wrestling, among others, pre-event massage aims to stimulate blood circulation, improve athletic performance and reduce nerve tension. It is done through stroke applications with slight pressure as well as vibrations, jostling and shaking to stimulate nerve tissues and to awaken the muscles, preparing them for sports. Pre-event athletic massage is performed thirty minutes to two hours before the sports event and lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.
- Post Event
As the name suggests, it is done after a sports event or a heavy workout, but slower speed and less pressure is applied. Offering several benefits, such as improving blood circulation and speeding up muscle recovery process, post event therapy proves beneficial for those with active lifestyle. Otherwise, stretching and compressions are done in conditions, such as cramping or spasming.
Usually, it is given thirty minutes up to one day after the workout, competition or physical activity, but for marathoners, specialists in this type of sports therapy recommends getting it two days after due to muscle damage. Given briefly for about half an hour, post event massage leads to an enhanced blood circulation and faster muscle recovery. Some techniques are stroking, kneading, assisted stretching, joint mobilization and broadening compression.
A post event massage can also help a bodybuilder, sports player or fitness trainer to return to training immediately without experiencing muscle soreness and stiffness. It can also be used to assess any potential injury or medical condition, such as hypothermia or heat exhaustion. For professional athletes, they can have a heavy alternate days or light daily massages.
- Training Massage
A type of massage is given to a fitness trainee or athlete to prepare his musculo-skeletal system to increase his performance, training massage has been the popular choice for keeping training safe and effective for the joints and muscles. One consideration here is the training schedule, especially when planning aggressive treatments, such as deep MFR and that ice must be applied to lower chances of inflammation after the treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Sports Massage?
It helps in increasing blood circulation of the body, especially beneficial for athletes and heavy exercisers. After being given a massage, athletes can experience a refreshed and newly oxygenated blood. It can also increase the lymphatic system flow due to the renewed circulation, which then carries away toxins or wastes away from the body. In addition, it helps preventing or treating DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness, something usually happening a few hours after working out or training, especially when a trainee is not yet accustomed to his regimen.
This massage can also increase flexibility because the joint’s mobility is being worked by the therapist with stretching that can also relieve any joint pain. For a bodybuilder or exerciser, this type of massage can also improve his range of motion or ROM. Getting a massage also helps an athlete or bodybuilder prevent himself from meeting injuries by conditioning his muscles and joints with the movements involved in exercise or sports. One thing that makes this therapy beneficial is that it can also make joints and muscles resilient and stable, so they are less likely to suffer from injury or pain.
Overall, an exercise or sports massage is a helpful therapy that can result to an improved performance, flexibility and stability allowing an athlete, bodybuilder or exerciser stay tough throughout his workout or training regimen with stable joints and muscles free from soreness and stiffness.
Have you experienced this type of muscle and joint therapy yourself? Share your experience with the world. Finally, feel free write us some of your suggestions on how to make workouts and sports better with your very own techniques.