Why Massage Therapy Can Give Athletes a Competitive Edge
Massage therapy has countless benefits for athletes and people who enjoy sports and fitness of all levels. Benefits of massage for athletes include improved performance, faster recovery from injury as well as injury prevention. It’s hardly surprising that so many athletes and fitness enthusiasts turn to regular massage and make it an essential part of their routine.
Some of the positive effects of massage that athletes particularly benefit from include:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Improved soft tissue function
- Decreased muscle stiffness
- Less muscle fatigue after exercising
- Better muscle tone
- Promoting relaxation
- Less delayed onset muscle soreness
- Fewer injuries
- Increased range of motion
- Improved performance
What is Sports Massage?
Therapeutic sports massage is a specific massage technique. Our Massage Therapists use many of the techniques that are also used in deep tissue massage and concentrate primarily on soft tissue, addressing any injuries, aches and pains. There’s evidence that this type of massage provides long lasting benefits, and has even shown that a session of deep massage after an intense workout can actually benefit muscles from within; it can cause muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the parts of the cells that convert nutrients into energy.
In the study carried out at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Canada, researchers asked men to exercise to the point of exhaustion on stationary cycles, then gave them a deep tissue massage on one leg only. Muscle biopsies showed that the deep-tissue massage increased the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without massage.
The pressure that’s involved in a sports massage stimulates blood flow so not only does it get the blood pumping; it also means your muscles are warmed up during and after your massage session. That’s on top of the feeling of relaxation that you get, helping you de-stress after working out, and improving your overall mood. These are the sort of mental benefits that could well give you an edge over your competitors too.
If those benefits are enough to make you want to book a regular massage as part of your essential training, you wouldn’t be alone. More and more professional and recreational athletes are experiencing the benefits of massage therapy, and making it an essential part of their training regimen.
As more research is carried out into how massage can improve your performance, more and more athletes will be taking advantage its long list of feel good benefits.