Stay in the Game with Sports Massage Therapy
Apr 8, 2014
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a competitive athlete, sports activity can jar your joints, max your muscles and exhaust your energy. If you don’t take the time to prepare and recover your mind and body for competition, you’ll find difficulty in reaching your performance potential and accomplishing your sports activity goals.
By incorporating regular sports massage therapy into your training and competition regimen, you will not only be in a better position to get the most out of your athletic capabilities during an event, but you’ll also be able to build strength, confidence and range of motion while recuperating.
Pre-Event Massage Jumpstarts Your Body to Perform at Its Best
Before you line up at the start of an endurance race or you hear the referee’s whistle to signal the start of a team sports event, it’s important to visit a sports massage therapist to prepare your muscles and jumpstart your body for a favorable athletic performance.
As you age, you may be putting in the same work to prepare for a sporting event as you did when you were younger, but you may not be experiencing the same results as you did in your youth. Regular massage therapy throughout your training and right before you compete may be the missing ingredient you’re looking for to not only perform at your best, but to ward off many of the common sidelining injuries as well.
“In a pre-event massage, I’m working the muscles faster with my hands to get the body pumped up and ready to go,” explains Brittany Hughes, massage therapist at Elements Glendale. “This type of massage technique not only helps to warm up a client’s muscles, but to get blood flowing throughout their legs, arms and body.”
When you go into a studio for a pre-event sports massage, you should expect your therapist to use quick, fast massage stroke movements to ignite and awaken the muscle fibers in your body. The goal of a sports massage therapy session pre-event is not to go deep or to make you sore, but rather to get your muscles limber and joints moving so they are ready to perform at an optimal level when you need them most.
Post-Event Massage Helps Muscles and Mind Recover, Recuperate and Revive
When you compete in an athletic event, the goal is to push your limit and get the most out of your mind and body. After putting yourself through an intense situation such as an athletic competition, you have to respect the wear and tear you put on your muscles and joints.
The best way to give back to your body after pushing it to its maximum potential is by receiving a therapeutic sports massage. After competing, a sports massage therapist will focus on slowly and steadily working out the kinks and tension from overworked muscles, as well as mentally relaxing and re-tuning your mind’s energy.
Using the power of massage as a consistent post-recovery tool can ensure that you will be up and running in minimal time for your next sports event and will be able to compete at a consistent performance level.
“After a sport, I do a slower stroke movement massage that is firm enough to relieve tension and move out lactic acid, but not too deep because I don’t want to increase my clients’ muscle soreness and achiness,” explains Hughes. “The goal is to get their body to relax more and calm them down both mentally and physically.”
Range of Motion Key for Optimal Performance in Any Sport
Whether you’re an avid golfer, tennis player, runner or triathlete, all athletes need optimal range of motion in order to succeed. Sports massage can help you increase your range of motion on the front-end of your event, as well as regain your flexibility and mobility after you’ve competed or experienced an injury. Hughes starts out each of her therapy sessions testing out her clients’ range of motion, seeing how far they can stretch, and identifying where she can help them move and feel better. During the session, Hughes likes to use a lot of movement and stretching to help activate muscles and work through her clients’ tension areas.
“Not everyone gets the same results, but so many people find that sports massage helps remove their pain,” says Hughes. “They can feel a huge difference in how sports massage therapy helps to relieve muscle tension and increase range of motion.”
Prepare and enhance your body’s athletic abilities by trying a sports massage therapy session before and after your next event or race. Massage is but one element that every athlete needs in their training plan to ensure ultimate performance and recovery.
Note: Sports massage is a very particular and specified field of massage therapy. When booking your Elements massage session, please be sure to indicate that you are interested in sports massage so you can be paired with the best therapist to meet your needs.