How can sports massages complement our training routine?

 

How can sports massages complement our training routine?

  February 2, 2018

We usually indulge into a massage to decompress or regain energy. The ones which we usually go for are typically deep tissue massages offered in spas. If these are beneficial to relax our bodies, an active gym member who works out several times a week needs more than overall relief.   

 

Difference between a spa massage and a sport massage  

During a spa massage- also called aromatherapy massage or deep tissues massage, the therapist applies pressure to the tissues directly available to her hands. It allows the most recent tensions and knots to be released which affects not only the body but also soothes the mind.   

The sport massage therapist has a specific understanding of the anatomy and is able to tackle exact locations. The body works as a whole, therefore when a muscle or a joint feels painful, it is often necessary to work on adjacent areas. It is a practice more precise than a spa massage and during which only parts of the body are treated.   

 

Improvements after a sport massage   

The direct resultant is immediate tension release and removal of unnecessary waste stored in tissue membranes. Blood flow increases under the action of the massage, improving oxygen and nutrients delivery while removing unnecessary storage of waste products and toxins.   

Body movements especially ones that felt challenging due to mobility issues feel enhanced. This is because the massage improves muscle fascia and breaks up scar formation caused by injuries and traumas.   

 

When to have the sport massage? Before or after a workout?  

This varies on the athlete’s training and the schedule of the following weeks ahead.  

Getting a sport massage after the last workout is perfect to deload after a couple of strenuous sessions. The ideal conditions for a sport massage after a workout are a hot shower, plenty of water, a handful of almonds, and ample clothing to really sink into a relaxation mode.   

Some athletes book sports massage ahead of a competition or a marathon for instance. What are the benefits? They allow muscles to clear from toxins and tensions before. Psychologically, competing with fully recuperated muscles takes away concerns regarding potential injuries, tightness, or movement efficiency.   

 

Long term benefits   

Whether we are gym members or professional athletes, our bodies needs to recover. Body work comes in play besides nutrition and sleep. Sports massages, when implemented regularly into a workout schedule, have the ability to prevent long term injuries, avoiding the inevitable appointment to the physiotherapist or the osteopath.   

A frequently scheduled sport massage acts as an additional motivation to push during the last couple of workouts leading to the appointment. Similarly, it balances our busy lives outside the gym. It reminds us to hydrate, consume healthy foods, and sleep.   

 

Tamara Akcay 

 

Sports massages in the London area: The Body Therapist UK, Abi Smith Therapy, Body Tonic Clinic