Lets look at how a sports massage can benefit you and support your training to prevent injuries and increase performance.
1. More Flexibility & Mobility
Aggressive training can tighten and toughen the muscles, preventing them from stretching correctly; the ‘pumping’ (focussed stroking) of soft tissue, both longitudinally and laterally, will improve muscular mobility and can correct imbalances, as well as releasing accumulated tensions from the sheaths around the muscles.
2. Stronger flow of blood & nutrients:
Overtrained muscles are tough and rock-like, which can squeeze out blood and nutrients, thus depriving the muscles of what they need! Better circulation which comes from softer, massaged muscles will consequently improve the supply of nutrients to tissues improving their health and aiding in healing and repair. Blood vessels dilate and membrane pores widen during the massage, which allows better oxygen passage, as well as nutrients for restoration of the muscles.
3. Ejects Metabolic Waste:
Through increased blood flow, sports massage helps in the removal of metabolic waste products (e.g. lactates + Hydrogen ions which are produced when training intensely) from tissues, further assisting in recovery from activity.
4. Reduces Pain:
Removing the pressure build-up suffered from congestion and metabolic irritants, sports massage can help to relieve pain. This is compounded by the release of endorphins.
5. Eases delayed onset muscle soreness:
‘DOMS’, is the muscular discomfort experienced a day or two after a training session. The pumping and squeezing action of massage strokes willencourage blood and lymph flow throughout the body, which can help prevent muscle fatigue and encourage better oxygenation.
6. Promotes relaxation:
Sports massage stimulates your mechanoreceptors (sensory receptors which respond to touch), and as your body relaxes, endorphins are released which lift the mood and de-stress the body, minimising anxiety.
7. Boosts performance:
More oxygen flowing to muscle tissues which are lithe and mobile, nourished and free from toxins and knotted tension, is surely going to lead to a higher quality and more sustainable level of activity.