As an athlete, you’re no stranger to sore muscles and injuries. Between practices, games, and training sessions, your body can take quite a beating.
If you’re dealing with chronic soreness, frequent injuries, or excessive tension, you could probably benefit from a sports massage.
Read on to learn more about this type of massage and why it’s so beneficial for athletes.
What Is a Sports Massage?
A sports massage is a type of massage treatment geared specifically toward athletes. There are three main types of sports massage:
Pre-event massages | Post-event massages | Maintenance massages
Pre-event massages are meant to warm up the muscles and prepare them for activity.
Post-event massages are meant to speed up muscle recovery and promote relaxation.
Maintenance massages, as the name suggests, keep the body functioning properly, promote a better range of motion, and encourage better overall health.
Top 10 Benefits of Sports Massage?
There are lots of reasons why you should get a sports massage. Some of the greatest benefits of this type of massage include:
1. Pain Relief
One of the most obvious benefits of sports massage is the fact that it can help relieve pain and soothe sore muscles.
If you’re dealing with aches and pains or tension after a big game or tough practice, a sports massage can help you feel more at ease and ready to get back on the field sooner.
2. Reduced Injury Risk
Regular sports massages can also help minimise an athletes risk of injury.
By properly warming up the muscles and preparing them for activity, there is less of a risk of soft tissue injuries (strains, sprains, etc.) during games and practices.
3. Improved Mobility and Range of Motion
If you lack mobility and have poor joint range of motion, sports massage can be very helpful.
Chronically tight muscles make it hard for athletes (and others) to move their limbs through a full range of motion in an efficient manner. And, when you can’t do this, your athletic performance is often hindered.
If you have limited mobility, you may find that you’re unable to move as quickly as you once could, and you may be more prone to injury. A massage can help.
4. Improved Athletic Performance
Some athletes even find that their performance improves when they get sports massages.
Part of this has to do with the fact that sports massages can help improve mobility and range of motion. The more efficiently an athlete can move their joints through a full range of motion, the better their performance will be.
Athletes who get regular sports massages are also less likely to be slowed down by aches, pains, and nagging injuries.
5. Improved Focus
Sports massages — and all massages, for that matter — are very relaxing and meditative.
Getting a massage before a practice or game can help athletes feel more relaxed and prepared for the tasks ahead of them.
During the massage, athletes can get into the right frame of mind and visualise the kind of performance they want to have.
6. Targeted Relaxation
Some athletes use tools like foam rollers and massage balls to relieve tension and work out tight, achy muscles.
It’s true that these kinds of tools can be very helpful. But, they’re not as good as having a professional massage therapist work on you.
A professional massage therapist knows exactly where to apply pressure to help relieve pain and get to the root of the issue.
When you use a foam roller or other massage tool, you might experience initial relief. But, you might not be doing as much good as you think, especially when it comes to long-term tension-reduction and mobility improvements.
7. Reduced Stress
Have you ever found yourself distracted during a game or practice because you were busy thinking about other things in your life? Have you ever let everyday stressors negatively affect your performance?
Sports massages can help you avoid letting your emotions get the better of you.
With regular massages, you’ll notice a reduction in your stress levels and an improved ability to focus on the task at hand when you’re going into a game or practice.
When you’re less stressed, you’ll likely find that you perform better. You might also be able to train and play better since there’s nothing distracting you from your goals.
8. Improved Muscle Recovery
Sports massages help improve your circulation and ensure that plenty of fresh, oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood gets delivered to your muscle tissues. This also helps remove waste products from the muscle tissues more quickly.
When your blood is circulating properly, you’ll likely experience a faster recovery process.
This also ensures that your muscles heal properly after a tough training session or intense game and is especially helpful for expediting your healing after an injury.
9. Improved Sleep Quality
If you’re not getting good sleep as an athlete, your performance is likely to suffer.
You’re also going to have a hard time recovering after your games and training sessions. After all, most of your growth hormone (which is needed for muscle repair and growth) gets produced when you’re asleep.
Because massages help reduce stress, they’re great for ensuring you get proper sleep. If you have a hard time winding down at night, a massage might be exactly what you need.
10. Improved Overall Health
Sports massages can also improve your overall health.
Their health-boosting benefits have a lot to do with their ability to reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
Because of these two benefits, massages can help minimise inflammation in the body. This, in turn, can allow your immune system to function as it should.
As a result, you’ll likely be more resistant to various illnesses and will be able to continue performing at peak capacity, even during cold and flu season!
Do You Need a Sports Massage?
As you can see, there are lots of benefits that come with getting a sports massage. Are you interested in getting one?
If you live in or around the Coogee/South Coogee area or in suburbs nearby such as Maroubra, Kingsford, Randwick and Bronte, we can help at Symmetry Massage Centre.
In addition to sports massage, we also offer a variety of other massage styles, including remedial massage, myofascial release, and relaxation massage.