As a sportsman or woman your performance counts. Adding sports massage to your workout routine can improve your performance. As the training hours pile up, so do the aches and pains. These little aches and pains can turn into nagging or even more serious injuries. After a strenuous workout or race sports massage will hasten your recovery and alleviate any pain. You may find that you will benefit from a 30 minute session on a particular problem area or a longer session for more general maintenance work. Athletes around the world rely on massage as an important part of their training regime. Sports massage techniques, when used regularly can increase the blood flow that is needed for recovery. Additionally sports massage improves the range of motion and strength of injured muscles and accelerates their healing process. With a full recovery you will be able to increase your workouts and allow your body to adapt to a higher level of stress.
Sports massage can:
- enhance body awareness
- identify problem areas before they develop into injuries
- remove trigger points formed as a result of injury
- relax and stretch muscles
- improve range of motion
- restore suppleness and elasticity
- relieve pain and stress
- free muscle adhesions
- soften scar tissue caused by injury or overuse
- improve circulation
- flush out toxins that cause muscle stiffness and soreness
- relax the body and mind
- speed recovery and healing from exertion
Why carry soreness and stiffness from your last session or game and let it affect the next? Instead take measures to speed your recovery from your exertion so you can reach a higher level next workout? Sports Massage provides an ingredient for the complete recovery. Sports massage techniques may differ as you have different needs at different times
Pre-sport: massage works as an adjunct to your warm up, to increase your circulation and flexibility and leave your muscles resilient and ready to go.
Post-sport:: After a hard session you need a massage that will increase your circulation to speed up the removal of fatigue toxins, relieve your muscle spasms and prevent soreness.
Fine-tuning: For regular fine-tuning you need a massage that will search out the areas of bio-mechanical stress in your muscles and relieve them before they become a problem, enabling you to train harder and more consistently.
Injury Rehabilitation: you need a massage that will speed your healing, increase your range of motion and reduce scar tissue to allow the muscle to expand/contract normally.
Recovery: following a game or training session naturally occurs but certain strategies help optimise the process and can leave your better able to recuperate and so get more from your next session. A cool down followed by static stretches of the often affected muscles can reduce the occurrence and severity of muscle soreness and aid recovery. A good structure of cool down following training and/or competitive sport would be as follows:
Cool down with light cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, light jogging, skipping and bounding i.e walking for several minutes loosening off as you go, trying to relax the muscles. Further cool down with dynamic stretches again light and easy, low effort.
Static stretches of the major muscle groups held for 15-20 seconds, coordinated with your breathing aid to relaxation.
All of the above can be performed in a pool. To further aid this routine, whilst it would take some courage, use cold water showers or baths at the end of the session. Just 30 seconds at a time (with the exception of the head) followed by 2-3 minutes of warm water, repeated 3-4 times should be suffice. Dry off and dress immediately following this. Then rehydrate adequately, alcohol does not rehydrate! Although it sounds time intensive – and the last thing you want to be doing – it does work and is worth trying if you take your sport seriously. Adequate rest and recovery is essential following planing and training and should be taken as seriously as both.
Sleep: It is during sleep that the hormones that govern muscular growth and repair are most active. With poor sleep habits and broken sleep you are not optimising your growth and development capabilities. Try and get 7-8 h ours of quality sleep. Drinking alcohol or coffee, eating meals high in carbohydrate reduces the quality of sleep and actually inhibits growth and repair. Try and develop consistent and good quality habits of sleep. It can make all the difference and makes the most of your hard training efforts.
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