Sports massage is the application of a series of massage techniques that combine a thorough knowledge of the anatomy and normal functioning of the human body, the understanding of training methods and physical conditioning and special qualities to develop massage practices aimed at enhancing sports performance
Benefits of Sports Massage
- Allows athletes to perform at their best, because it accelerates the body's natural healing processes
- Allows athletes to participate more frequently in rigorous training and fitness.
- Helps reduce the chances of suffering injuries by recovering mobility and flexibility in the affected muscle tissue (Beck, 2000).
Currently, sports massage is used by athletes as a supplement that can improve their physical performance.
There are many trainers who recommend its use and many athletes who, when their workouts are not as expected, resort to sports discharge massage (which is applied days before the competition to relax or unload the muscles) or to stimulating sports massage ( which is applied immediately before competing to stimulate and warm up the muscles).
Sports massage is used to prepare and recover after the competition, as well as to perform specific treatments in the recovery of injuries (Galloway et al., 2004) and today it is probably one of the most popular treatments to recover after exercise.
Sports massage reduces the risk of DOMS or “Delayed onset muscle soreness”, returns muscle strength and performance after training and prevents the appearance of injuries.
It generates increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension, excitation of the nervous system and a greater sense of well-being.
The massage could produce, due to the pressure exerted on the tissues, a decrease in muscle stiffness, an increase in blood flow due to an increase in arteriolar pressure, as well as an increase in muscle temperature due to rubbing.
You could also expect a reduction in anxiety and an improvement in well-being that causes relaxation (psychological mechanisms) (Weerapong et al., 2005). These benefits of massage are expected to help the athlete improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury.
The pre-competition massage, applied 15 to 45 minutes before a competition, prepares the body for intense activity. Its main objective is to increase the circulation and flexibility of body area that you want to use.
Postcompetition massage should reduce muscle tension, minimize swelling and painful sensitivity, promote relaxation and reduce recovery time.
In this way, muscle contractures and trigger points can be relieved. On the other hand, massage reduces the mild adhesions of crossed fibers produced by a microtrauma, thus increasing muscle response and flexibility.
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