Massage therapy can play a big role in the performance of athletes. Athletes usually go through muscle fatigue and anxiety before an event and so massage helps them manage such conditions, thereby increasing endurance, vitality and peak flexibility as well as minimizing the occurrences of injury.
But to get the most out of a sports massage and enhance the performance of athletes, there are some specific techniques that therapists need to use. Here are the best massage techniques for athletes.
This type of technique involves rhythmic stroking of one’s abdomen, followed by a massage which focuses on the skin pressure points. The skin is lifted and pressed in a gentle way to relieve tension. This massage can prove effective when the muscle endures knots and there is pressure and pain in a particular spot or area. Vibrations and tapotement are the final steps towards completing the Swedish massage. During these final steps, the therapist will rhythmically tap the body with varying finger movements.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage, also known as tender point massage, involves using the fingertips to conduct concentrated kneading process. The pressure points are triggered and massaged in the right way in order to reduce the sensitivity and vulnerability of the muscle tissues during athletic activities. It also helps to treat spasms in muscle tissues which tend to cause a simmering pain or a throbbing pain that refuses to go away.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of therapeutic massage is effective in relieving severe tension in the deeper muscle tissue structures and the connective tissue. The therapy is recommended for athletes because they experience stiff muscles and consistent pain as a result of heavy physical activity. Unlike other techniques that just help relax the body, this type of massage technique is more intense, and apply slower but deeper pressure on the affected areas.
The pressure applied is more intense so as to release chronic muscle knots. Since these techniques compress the muscles and increase blood flow, they are effective for the relief of sports related injuries. Bloomington massage center N8TouchMassage.com claims that this form of massage is one of the popular, particular among their athlete clients in Bloomington, IL as it helps them recovery more rapidly.
Active Release Techniques (ART)
The ART is typically used for various conditions that lead to overused muscles, which may cause pain and movement or strength loss. ART heavily relies on a technique called “pin and stretch” which involves applying pressure to muscles as they are elongated. The massage therapists use their hands to assess the muscle texture, movement and tightness and apply pressure gently to the affected tissues, while the athlete performs specific movements.
Regular ART sessions can enhance flexibility of your hamstrings, making activities like running, jogging, walking, dancing and swimming easier on your legs. It can also prevent the buildup of scar tissue and treat sciatica and other conditions that cause pain or limit mobility of your hamstrings.
These massage techniques are designed not only to facilitate the regimens of athletes but they can also be used by ordinary people to stay fit, feel nice and maximize their energy and endurance levels. But remember that the effectiveness of these techniques depends on consistency.