3 things you need to know about Sports Massage

There are a number of reasons for an athlete to get a sports massage regularly. They are not only good for helping with recovery and soreness but also for relieving stress.

For athletes to stay on top of their game they need to stay in peak physical condition. Getting a sports massage can help them to do so. The massages are used for a few different reasons, to prevent injuries and to prepare for athletic activity.

1. Injury Prevention

By getting a massage before exercise an athlete is warming up the muscles. It stimulates the blood flow and the flow of nutrients. This allows the muscles to work freely and without tension. By doing this before each game or training an athlete is decreasing their chances of getting an injury massively.

2. Recovery

Receiving a sports massage straight after exercise is also important. It helps to reduce soreness all over the body and to speed up recovery time. Massages also loosen stiff muscles and improves flexibility. A massage after an event is usually light and gentle so it doesn’t damage tired muscles even more.

3. Relieve Stress

Competing at a high level in sport along with trying to juggle work along with it can be very stressful. Studies have shown that a 10-15 minute massage can relieve stress massively. It helps to decrease the heart rate and also to lower blood pressure.

 

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Stretching/ Yoga

Stretching

Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and range of motion

Stretching is one of the most important things to do before exercise. It is very important to stretch all of the muscle groups that will be used. Stretching muscles before exercise gets them warmed up and ready to go. It also decreases the chances of injury and muscle soreness.

There are a number of different benefits to stretching, some of them include;

Improved Circulation

Stretching helps to increase the blood flow to muscles. By increasing blood flow this helps to flush waste out of the tissue in muscles. This can help to boost your recovery time and to decrease risk of injury.

Improved Posture

By stretching regularly and with the correct form this can improve posture greatly. It helps to loosen muscles, as tight muscles often lead to poor posture.

Encourages Muscle Growth

Finally, another benefit is that it increases blood flow which helps deliver essential nutrients. It also decreases the build up of lactic acid which can lead to injury soreness and fatigue.

Yoga

Yoga is becoming more and more popular between sports teams these days. This is because it is so beneficial to anyone playing sports. Mobility and movement will increase a lot after a few weeks of doing yoga. There are a lot of different benefits that are associated with partaking in it.

Builds Muscle Strength

By doing yoga do build strength with flexibility. Yoga encourages muscle growth by increasing blood flow to all different muscles in the body. It also increases red blood cells levels which carry oxygen to the tissues. This increases chance of muscle growth.

Improves Balance

By doing yoga regularly boosts balance massively. Most knee and ankle injuries happen as a result of poor balance. For most of the top sportspeople balance is one of the most important attributes. An hour or two of yoga a week can help someone to improve performance greatly.

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Swimming

Swimming can be a great way to help with recovery from injuries and also to prevent them. It can prevent injuries by strengthening muscles from the water providing a little resistance.

Benefits

There are a number of different benefits to swimming including relieving stress and burning fat.  A lot of different strokes can be used depending on what muscle you’re trying to strengthen. Most of the strokes will use all of the muscles in the body. The breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and freestyle will all use up a lot of different areas of the body.

Swimming also boosts the cardiovascular system by making the heart and lungs stronger. It is now a common thing for football teams to have a swimming session during the week along with the gym and field sessions.

Usually a session in the pool would be most beneficial just after a game or training. This is when the muscles will be quite sore.  A swim in the pool will allow the muscles to recover quickly. By doing a few lengths, you will be using all of the muscles in your body. This helps the body to not only recover but to strengthen muscles at the same time.

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Foam Rolling

Foam Rollers

By foam rolling, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can instantly improve their workouts or performances and decrease their risk of injury. You can get a lot of the same benefits from a foam roller as you can get from a sports massage. It is also at a much cheaper price and from the comfort of your own home.

Benefits

There are a number of different benefits of foam rolling, some of them include;

1.Increased Blood Flow

By doing foam rolling exercises, it helps to stretch and loosen out muscles. By applying pressure to soft tissue areas it allows the blood to flow more freely. Carrying nutrients like oxygen and glycogen to tired muscles.

2. Improved Movements

Foam rolling helps to loosen out muscles and allows them to move past one another without friction. A player will feel a lot less stiff after using a foam roller and as a result this helps them to perform better.

3. Decreased Injury Risk

Another big benefit is that rolling will help an athlete to stay injury free. Circulation is improved as a result of it so this in turn provides a better range of motion. Staying injury free is one of the biggest challenges for players these days, so foam rolling is essential.

4. Increased Recovery Time

After a training session muscles become fatigued and a build of lactic acid occurs. Foam rolling helps to tackle this and get rid of it. It leaves the muscles feeling a lot fresher the next day.

Ice Baths/ Cryotherapy

Ice Baths

Ice baths are becoming more and more common for sportspeople. They are used after a workout or session to help aid recovery. They are designed to reduce inflammation and promote healing in joints and muscles. By sitting in an ice bath up to the hips it can greatly increase the recovery time on muscles. It constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. As a result muscles are not as sore in the days after.

Benefits

There are a number of benefits to sportspeople using ice baths for recovery. This is why most GAA teams in Ireland are now using them. An ice bath or a dip in the sea are becoming more and more popular. Some of the benefits include;

Speeds up Recovery

A quick dip into the ice bath after a tough session will leave the body feeling a lot better the next morning. The muscles will be a lot less sore and this will leave an athlete ready and able to take part in physical activity quicker. It also can treat a large area of the body faster than what an ice pack could.

Reduces Inflammation

Ice baths can also help with some specific injuries. For example, a sprained ankle can be treated straight away. The swelling will be counteracted by getting into an ice bath as soon as possible after it happens. This will reduce the pain in the ankle and also the recovery time.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a relatively new form of treatment for sore muscles. It involves stepping into a freezing cold chamber or tub for a few minutes. The benefits are similar to that of the Ice Baths but it also offers a couple of others such as;

Weight Loss

Pain Relief from Muscle and Joint ache

Reduce Inflammation.

Cryotherapy is very popular among professional sports teams across the world. It is quite expensive to use, which is why an ice bath might be more suited to someone not involved in a professional background.

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