Thursday, 6 November 2008

What to Expect From Sports Massage

More and more, athletes of varying degrees of skill and intensity are turning to sports massage as part of their training regimen. Sports massage has rapidly become an integral part of many professional athletes’ training routines and has many benefits for those engaged in active lifestyles. What can be expected when you decide to make sports massage part of your training regimen? Read on for the answers to some of your sports massage-related queries.

Needs Assessment
If you decide to make regular sports massage part of your training regimen, you will first need to meet with a therapist to discuss your needs and history. Expect to give a full account of what your training regimen entails. It is important to be as thorough as possible during this initial phase, as sports massage differs from traditional or full-body massage in several ways.
Full body massage involves working on all of the muscle groups in your body, with additional time spent on problem areas and working out knots resulting from pent up stress or tension. Sports massage focuses on specific muscle groups related to the activities you participate in.
Therefore, if you are a cyclist, your therapist will most certainly spend time on your legs rather than neck and shoulders. Working on isolating the muscle groups directly affected by your training is going to be your massage therapist’s number one goal. Naturally, if you are experiencing pain in other areas, he or she will help correct that as well. Your movement and the way you work out may need to be examined and pointers may need to be given regarding your specific movements to minimize future pain, instability, or injury.

Treatment of Specific Muscle Groups
Once your treatment program has been established, expect your sports massages to be directly related to the muscle groups you use the most. Focusing on these muscle groups will help you during the recovery and rebuilding stages after you tear down muscles during your workout. It is going to be very helpful indeed for these muscles to be worked through thoroughly, as this will increase blood flow, reduce pain, and ultimately help you to heal faster after strenuous workouts.

Benefits of Sports Massage
After incorporating massage into your training regimen, you will begin to notice many different things happening within your body. You will be less likely to get injured during routine training. You will experience less down time during the recovery phase after workouts. You will feel more flexible and have more mobility as a result. All of these benefits are likely if you incorporate sports massage regularly during your training.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of massage therapists. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com

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