Achieving peak performance is a worthy goal, and you no doubt employ a variety of different disciplines in your quest for sports excellence. These might include specialized workout routines that focus on key muscle groups for your chosen sport, consulting an expert to improve your form, buying the best workout gear and even examining your diet. Yet, you may be unfamiliar with the benefits that sports massage can deliver, as this type of treatment can enhance your efforts in several ways.
These include facilitating recovery, optimising performance and improving flexibility. A sports massage therapist may also identify any small issues that are present, before they grow to become larger problems. Finally, sports massage can help stave off injuries (so you can train without disruption), help mitigate strain during periods of high loading, provide relaxation and promote deep, healing sleep.
Recovery is associated with increased blood flow, as this allows the tissues to receive more oxygen and nutrients. This is why injuries typically swell, as more blood goes to the area of the body in need of healing. Sports massage stimulates blood flow by deeply working your tissues, which can reduce the time it takes for your body to recover after workouts or competitions. The manual manipulation provided by sports massage can also help with the removal of accumulated waste products like lactic acid. Finally, one survey of the available research on this topic, found at least some evidence to suggest that massage may be helpful for treating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Not only can sports massage help you to bounce back more quickly after a game, event, competition or workout – it can be useful beforehand as well. Gently warming and loosening your muscles, tendons and ligaments can reduce the risk of injury and boost your ability to perform from the first minute on. How is this possible? Again by promoting blood to flow into your muscles, they will have the oxygen they require to perform at their best.
Tight, stiff tendons, ligaments and muscles can spell disaster for a high-level athlete. Chances are that you’re setting yourself up for a fall, if you don’t undertake a regimen to maintain or improve your flexibility. Mobility requires that joints be strong but also flexible, and flexibility can help you to avoid injuries. How so?
During competition or training you may move in such a way that places undesirable stress on a joint or muscle, such as accidentally overextending your arm or leg. If the range of motion isn’t in place, this could lead to a strain or sprain – whereas a flexible athlete may only experience just a slight soreness and be no worse for wear. For this reason, using sports massage to work on your flexibility can be an important part of your overall training plan.
Provide Maintenance During High Loading
Training plateaus are well-known and dreaded by those seeking to attain peak performance. One way to combat this troublesome trend is by staggering your training with periods of high loading. These can be extremely useful for breaking through performance barriers and achieving new heights. However, they also place a tremendous strain upon the body, and sports massage can help to mitigate this added pressure and keep your body functioning well.
Eliminate Training Disruption
Having to stop or reduce your planned training schedule is highly frustrating. Yet, if you suffer an injury or your body simply isn’t able to recover quickly enough to stick with a grueling training plan, you may have to disrupt your routine. Sports massage can help in this regard, by improving recovery times and preventing injuries – to avoid unwanted disruptions in your workout strategy.
Help Relaxation and Promote Sleep
Not least of all, sports massage can provide a soothing way to relax after a difficult workout, game or competition, quieting both your body and mind at the same time. It can also promote deep, healing sleep which should bolster your performance in the long run. These benefits are possible by inducing your body’s relaxation response, through engaging your parasympathetic nervous system. This will help you not only to relax, but it could improve your sleep patterns as well.
Sports Massage For Peak Performance
With all of these benefits offered by sports massage, it can be a valuable tool in your training arsenal. Many high-level athletes use this type of treatment multiple times per week, as they’ve found it to be very useful towards achieving their goals. Elevate massage therapists work with numerous athletes and sports teams.
If you’ve been searching for a way to facilitate recovery after training or competing, improve your flexibility, support your body during periods of high loading, eliminate training disruption or delays and promote relaxation and sleep – then sports massage may be the solution you’re after.
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