A sportsperson, especially a professional one, has to devote a huge chunk of the time of his day working out his body. Mind you, we aren’t talking necessarily only about working out in the gym. The sport, no matter which sport you play, in itself is a complex set of exercises.
The physical fitness that a player needs has to be relinquished with minute care of the body. This is why sports massage is an integral part of a sportsperson’s routine. Unfortunately, many assume that a massage should only be taken in case of an injury. But, you would be surprised to know the various implications that a sports massage can have.
What is a Sports Massage?
Sports massage is an intense type of soft tissue mobilization. It involves the application of a wide variety of skills in order to relax your muscular-skeletal system as well as address the problem areas. It not only helps in preventing injuries but also aids your body in getting ready for athletic activity and in overall rehabilitation.
Besides, it plays a crucial role in helping your body maintaining an optimal condition. Every sportsperson has to swear by it if they want to have a prolonged and safe career in their respective sports.
Depending on the timing and regularity of when it is applied, a sports massage can be divided into three basic forms – pre-event massage, post-event massage, and maintenance massage.
The pre-event and post-event massages are pretty self-explanatory being done before and after sports or a physical activity respectively. Maintenance massages are done at regular intervals – monthly, weekly, or even daily) or as part of an athletic training program.
Types of Techniques Used in Sports Massages
Sports massages include a combination of the following techniques:Kneading
It involves moving, squeezing, and lifting your body tissues with the intention of manipulating them. When the relaxation of hand strokes and alternate pressure hits the target area, it helps in exerting a pumping action on the underlining veins and capillaries. As a result, it helps in increasing blood circulation, stimulating the removal of waste products, and mobilizing tissues.Hacking
As part of the percussion massage, hacking requires striking your body tissues in a springy yet light manner with the help of the border of your hands. It plays a vital role in softening hard tissues, increasing tone, while also stimulating the reflex contraction of your muscle fibers.Effleurage
Effleurage helps in creating a relaxing and calming effect not only physiologically but also psychologically and it can be performed both deeply as well as superficially. It warms up your tissues and aids in lymphatic drainage and improving overall circulation.Trigger Pointing
Evident by its name, trigger pointing helps in deactivating the trigger points in your body by relieving pain and returning the physiological functions of your muscles. The trigger point can be anything from a fascia tissue to a tiny irritable area in your muscle. It is usually tender to touch and is painful. By applying direct pressure on it, pain is relieved and fresh blood is released.Wrinkling
Wrinkling requires alternate releasing and squeezing of the hands on your body tissues with the aim of bringing nutrients and oxygen to the area while also removing waste products from it. Besides, it also helps in improving tissue extensibility and elasticity. It aids in releasing tension from your muscles, stretches tight muscle fibers and fascia, and improves mobility.
Are Sports Massages Only for Sportspersons?
It should be noted that sports massages are not exclusive to sportspersons only. Anyone who needs soft tissue or remedial mobilization can opt for a sports massage. People have experienced major recovery with the help of sports massages post-surgery.
In addition, this type of massage also brings with it numerous chiropractic, osteopathy, as well as physiotherapy health benefits. Furthermore, it is also used as an effective way to improve physical performances, not necessarily only in the sports context. So, it applies to everyone, regardless of the fact that they play sports or not.