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So, what is sports massage? Torture reserved for elite athletes? Definitely not. Mike Ludwicki, our Guildford based sports massage therapist extraordinaire explains:

There is often confusion as to what a sports massage is. The main principles are based on anatomy and physiology. Sports massage / deep tissue massage is a form of soft tissue treatment, aiming to restore the balance in deeper layers of connective tissue and muscles / fascial interconnections, eliminating tensions in the body.

Each technique we use in sports massage aims to achieve slightly different goals. We always want to affect tissues – lengthen the muscle, take the joint through more range of motion etc. and use not only the fingertips, but knuckles, soft fists, forearm and elbows to apply / disperse different levels of force in different directions. In a correctly conducted session, an experienced therapist applies different pressures through the tissues, aiming to elicit physiological reaction in different depths of tissues within the musculoskeletal system.

Sports massage has a lot in common with classic massage, with the difference that it is performed using more strength and energy. It helps to prevent injuries, eliminates the effects of overtraining, warms up and relaxes the muscles and prevents soreness after exercise. The athlete’s full body massage resembles an isometric massage, the purpose of which is to rebuild muscle mass and restore muscle performance before the injury.

It’s great for all sedentary workers working from home or the office, weekend warriors and wannabe fitness fanatic as well as the trained athlete.
  1. Sports massage for all – indications

Sports massage is performed in order to:

  • Prevent injuries
  • Relax muscles
  • Warm up the muscles
  • Improve metabolism
  • Eliminate the effects of overtraining
  • Remove fatigue from the muscles and the whole body
  • Accelerate blood and lymph circulation
  • Improve the supply of nutrients to the muscles
  1. Sports massage for sports people

Sports massage is a general name that combines several types of massage. It is performed between competitions and just before physical activity. These are the types of sports massage:

·        Conditioning sports massage is used as the maintenance treatment in the non-competition period, i.e. during off season. The benefit of this type of sports massage is to keep the body flexible.

·        Sports massage during the training season consists mainly of kneading the muscles. It should be performed approximately 5 hours after training.

·        Sports massage before the competition - performed at least 2 days before the competition. It aims to strengthen and relax the muscles.

·        Post workout massage - this type of sports massage is designed to relax the muscles after the competition. It improves the blood circulation and speeds up the metabolism.

  1. Sports massage – explanation of the techniques used

The course of a sports massage session is strictly regulated by a specific plan. Before the sports massage, you should cleanse the skin, take a shower or bath. Then the masseur can use different techniques of sports massage:

  • Effleurageis the first and last stage of the session. It is a form of technique involving a repeated circular stroking movement by using the palm of the hand.
  • Petrissage is a technique applied directly to the muscles. It is characterized by kneading movements with gradation of pressure.
  • Tapping, clapping strokes, and chopping movements. This technique causes vasodilation and relaxes the muscles. This type of movement is usually done to stimulate muscle pre activity / performance.

Hopefully we have helped to inform you of the reasons to have a sports massage, the techniques that might be used and why it is beneficial irrelevant of whether you play sport or not. If we have got you thinking about giving it a try or you have any questions, please contact us on 01932 253500.