What is a sports massage?
No matter what level you’re at (whether you’re a professional athlete, a regular gym-goer or you play football for your local team), you may have heard about the benefits of a sports massage.
Sports massages are commonly used for rehabilitation after an injury, but injuries aren’t the only reason you might want to consider a massage. They can be equally beneficial for anyone aiming to improve their overall sports performance.
There’s not one set technique that your therapist will use for a sports massage – instead, they will typically consist of a combination of several massage techniques that are tailored to best suit the muscle groups you’re targeting, based on the exercises and activities that you do. Some techniques that may be used during a sports massage are:
- Long, sweeping strokes
- Kneading, using the palms or knuckles
- Applying deep pressure at the centre of the muscle with the thumbs
- Trigger point massage
- Stretching joints and muscles
What are the benefits of a sports massage?
One of the main benefits of getting a sports massage is that it can speed up recovery and prevent injuries.
Many injuries are caused simply by overworking your muscles – resulting in pain and inflammation. Taking the time to get regular massage treatments can relieve any pain before it gets worse, or it may prevent the muscles being overworked in the first place.
Another benefit of a sports massage is that it can help increase flexibility and make movement easier. Over the course of training , you can accumulate muscle tension, and hard training can sometimes make this tissue hard and inflexible (which is why hard training doesn’t always result in improved performance). Getting a massage that includes stretching can work to reverse this, therefore helping your muscles, tendons and joints to move more freely and stay in optimum condition.
Pain alleviation and enhanced performance are often the two main reasons athletes choose to have regular massages, but some other benefits you may experience are:
- Reduced stress and increased relaxation and focus to help you get into the right mindset before a match or competition
- Improved break down of scar tissue
- Improved blood circulation, increasing circulation to the targeted muscle tissues and areas to aid recovery
Are you ready to book a sports massage?
If you exercise regularly, and want to keep working on and improving your performance, making a sports massage part of your regular routine can be a highly effective way to do so.
If you feel like a sports massage will be beneficial to you, take a look and see if any of your local spas are available through My Spa Pass. We’ve partnered with spas all over the UK to offer exclusive savings on 100s of different treatments to help keep leading a healthy lifestyle affordable.