How to balance massage, training, and workout.
The benefits of deep tissue massage are endless and have been supported with extensive research over many years. To really benefit from the positive aspects of massage, athletes need to be schedule massage into their training timetable to improve sports performance and injury prevention.
What are the benefits of sports massage?
Strenuous activity on your muscles and joints can decrease the blood flow on surrounding soft tissues. Massage opens pores in this tissue, allowing blood flow and movement of nutrients around the muscle. By using pressure to break up muscle fibres and provide oxygen to the area, sports massage helps with those all too familiar ‘muscle knots’ or feelings of tightness that often appear after an intense workout.
How often should I get a sports massage?
The answer to this question depends on each individual athlete. It is important to listen to your body to determine how much a workout has impacted upon your muscles and when you feel relief is needed.
Many experts advise sports massage be given once a week for full-time athletes. This must be balanced with stretching exercises, healthy eating, and a balance of high and low-frequency training. It’s important to keep up your level of fitness, but daily high-frequency training where you work out the same muscle groups multiple times throughout the week will cause more strain to muscles, forcing sports massage to be needed more frequently.
It's also important to note how your body reacts to a sports massage. Deep tissue massage should not leave you bruised and in pain, but neither should it be a light and underwhelming experience. It’s best to schedule your massage around less intense training days in order to optimise muscle recovery. Muscles can occasionally feel fatigued after massage. So booking a sports massage before an event or competition may not be advised.
Other things to consider
It’s not always possible to book a sports massage every week. Juggling training, family life, and other work take their toll. But it’s important to create balance; if massage is not an option every week, personal improvement can be made with stretching, foam rolling, or trigger ball release work.
Remember sports massage is not a resolution for injury. If you are in intense pain or suffered an injury, it’s best to speak to medical professionals before embarking upon a course of massage.
Make time to find out what balance works best for you as an athlete. If you’re unsure about how sports massage can improve your situation why not give us a call and we can talk you through a tailored approach to including massage within your training regime.
Muscles are extremely complex, your body and health should receive the same attention as the sport you love.
Hayley qualified as a massage therapist at The Jing Institute which has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in training massage therapists in advanced techniques that reduce pain quickly and effectively and can benefit anyone suffering from back and neck pain, sports injuries, pain from pregnancy and stress-related conditions. Take a look at her testimonials to see how other athletes have benefitted from regular massage within their training regina.