Who else has been tuning into the Winter Olympics? Believe it or not, massage therapy plays an important role in these amazing athletes’ training regimen. Regular massage for athletes comes with multiple benefits, from reducing pain to decreasing recovery time. Whether you’re a professional snowboarder or enjoy playing beer league hockey, massage therapy can improve your physical fitness and performance too. Here are the top benefits of massage for athletes.
Massages usually elicit mechanical and reflex responses that reduce muscle tension, swelling, and hypertonicity. Massage therapy also decreases stiffness and fatigue while enhancing an athlete’s range of motion. Besides, athletes who receive massages regularly are not prone to injuries.
Minimize Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation usually have adverse effects on your performance as an athlete. Muscles need a lot of energy to heal this inflammation. Massages help your body create mitochondria which release sufficient energy for your muscles. Regular massages will also help in muscle reparation and pain suppression. In the long run, massages for athletes will reduce pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
Delivers Optimum Relaxation
Athlete massage can help your muscle system enhance functionality during and after physical activity. Essentially, the massage will help you stimulate and tone your body. Ultimately, you’ll have optimum relaxation and create a feeling of wholeness physically and mentally.
Increases Range of Motion
You need an increased range of motion and flexibility to enhance performance while preventing injury as an athlete. Regular massages increase blood flow to the muscle tissue, enhancing range, motion, and flexibility. Increased blood circulation also eases muscle tension while reducing soreness.
Regular massages for athletes reduce your susceptibility to injuries. With increased flexibility and relaxed muscles, you won’t worry about the risk of injury arising from tense muscles. Besides, massages hasten recovery time, ensuring that you get back to the field in top condition.
Olympians who Incorporate Massage in their Training
You are probably wondering how to incorporate massage therapy into your already busy training regime. Learn from top Olympians who’ve appreciated the value of massages and adopted them in their training.
Abby Wambach, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, acknowledges the difference that having massages brought for their team. “Massage for athletes helps you bounce back in no time after a game. You have an easier time maintaining the highest fitness levels, “she explains. When combined with proper nutrition, massage therapy lets you compete at the highest level consistently.
Kerri Strug, an elite gymnast, has spent a considerable chunk of her career on the physician’s table nursing injuries. For Strug, consistent massages have helped ease the pain. “I made time for a massage therapist every week to make my body feel better,” she says. Massage therapy has helped her hold on to her goals regardless of her multiple injuries.
For Bonnie Blair, most of her injuries came during dryland training rather than during the actual games. The Olympic speedskating champion relied on massage therapy to prepare her legs for the strenuous workout. “I got massages at least three times every week while preparing for the Olympics,” she recalls.
David Randall had four spinal cord surgeries and five brain surgeries before settling for life in a wheelchair. His never-die spirit led him to join the US Paralympics team. David has relied on regular massages to push his body harder during training and competitions. “Massages loosen my muscles and offer me more flexibility. Thanks to this routine, I can recover quicker and perform at a maximum level,” he says.
Get a Massage Therapist to Enhance your Fitness Levels
Over time, athletes of all levels may have to deal with physical ailments, including scar tissue buildup, nerves entrapment, and chronic soft tissue dysfunction. Working with a massage therapist can help you implement targeted massage therapy techniques to get your body back on track. Regular massage enables you to recover like a pro as you train like a pro. Contact Body Restoration Spa today to get started!