As an athlete, you’re probably aware that playing sports requires grit, determination, great work ethic, and most of all – a healthy body.
Growing up running track and playing competitive tennis. I would frequently ignore injuries and continue to compete – chalking it up to me being “tough”. I continued with this mentality up until six years ago when I started triathlon training with a single goal in mind: to stay healthy and injury-free. Although proper training and nutrition helped me reach my goal, the single most important variable was receiving regular sports massage therapy.
What is sports massage therapy and why is it important?
Sports massage therapy combines various massage techniques to enhance athletic performance and reduce recovery time. Some of the most popular techniques include deep tissue, trigger point release therapy, cupping therapy and muscle scraping. Assisted stretching of the muscles help to improve flexibility and reduce stress on the joints.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, regular sports massages can:
- reduce muscle tension
- increase your range of motion
- decrease soreness and pain after activity
- decrease the chance of exercise-related injury
- promote focus and relaxation
What to Expect in Sports Massage Therapy
At the start of the massage, your therapist may perform posture, movement, and verbal assessments to determine if there are any muscular or structural dysfunctions of the body. This analysis offers your massage therapist insight on how to structure a personalized treatment plan that will offer you the most benefit.
The Competitive Edge
Sports massage therapy aids athletes to attain their optimal performance by accelerating the body’s natural restorative processes, helping the athlete to participate more often in rigorous physical training and conditioning. Another benefit is the ability to target critical muscle-tendon connections, keeping them healthy and supple.
Think of a massage therapist as a partner who can help you become a more competitive athlete.