Sports Massages

by Bea | June 2nd, 2009 | Eating Tips, Exercises, Sports, Strength Training

picSports massages are not your typical massages. You may be thinking, but it is a massage! How could you want to avoid one of those? Well, sports massages may not always feel great. Sometimes it is necessary to break down knotted up muscles–which leaves you sore the next day, but in the end it will all be worth it. My friends like to call the pain that you get from a sports massage to be a “good kind.”

Most sports massages are not full body massages. Sports massages have specific aims in mind, and they must be applied skillfully. Massages are the most effective forms of therapy for releasing muscle tension, and if you receive a massage every day, you may help prevent injuries that could have occurred because of overuse. One thing to look out for are muscle imbalances; it is important to have your masseuse detect any variations in the tissues in order to keep your body equal.

There are three main categories of massage that are used in sports massages. These three techniques are effleurage, petrissage, and frictions. Effleurage is typically used at the start of a message. It is made up of a variety of stroking movements that are done with the palm of your hand and your fingers. You want to start slowly with effleurage in order to put the athlete at ease, to warm up the tissue, to increase the blood flow, to stimulate nerves, relax the muscles, and more. After you have finished with this step, you move on to petrissage.

Petrissage is the kneading that is used on deeper tissues. It is used to mobilize fluids, stretch the muscle fibers, and to induce relaxation. After the first phase is complete, you will begin to aim and direct your massage at specific parts. The next step could be the painful one. After attempting to loosen everything, it is now time to use friction. Friction is used for deeper and more painful moments that are done to specifically break down lesions, separate muscle fibers, and more.

As an athlete, it is important to take care of your body, so feel free to treat yourself to a massage once in a while.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.