What is the Best Massage for Athletes?

Peak performance doesn't just come from the gym

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No matter what experience you have, how often or intensely you hit the gym or the level at which you play, all athletes can benefit from a massage every now and again. Whether it’s from playing sports or your own workout routine, your body takes a beating from all you put it through in order to stay in shape. Augmenting your training or workout routine by adding a message can help you recover from those grueling days faster and increase your range of motion long term. 


While all massages will likely feel good on sore muscles, a sports recovery massage is a specifically designed massage for athletes to complement the rigors of routine intense athletic activity. 

What is a Sports Recovery Massage?

A sports recovery massage helps to break up lactic acid in your muscles to help you recover faster and to prepare your body for the next workout, race or game. 

One of the reasons athletes seek our sports recovery massages post-exertion is because of its ability to dull the pain from overworked muscles and delay muscle soreness. According to a study performed by researchers from the Center of Health and Sport Sciences at Santa Catarina State University in Brazil, “the mechanical stimuli from massage therapy may inhibit pain by ‘closing the pain gate’, inducing instant analgesia,” that is, the inability to feel pain. This helps athletes power through the pain post-workout and get back at it. 

Techniques commonly used during a sports recovery massage include sliding/gliding movements, tissue kneading or pressing, rapid striking, pressure application and shaking movements along with general stretching. These techniques help to loosen your muscles and break up lactic acid to facilitate faster recovery and increased range of motion. 

When and how often should I get a sports recovery massage? 

The ideal time to get a massage for athletes would be anywhere from immediately to four hours after intense physical strain. This will help make sure that you’re getting the true benefits of a sports recovery massage and not just getting the benefits of a regular massage. Making sure your muscles are still worn out from use and then massaged is key to getting the full benefit.

It should be noted that since this is a sports recovery massage, you shouldn’t necessarily go workout right after you hop off the table. You’ll want at least 24 hours of cool down time before you hit the gym again.  

If you routinely hit your physical limits, whether at games or in the weight room, you’re likely going to need a sports recovery massage more often than someone who only runs on a treadmill once a week. If that’s the case for you, we recommend scheduling a sports recovery massage at least once a month. This will help keep your muscles loose and your range of motion elevated. 


Benefits of Massage Therapy for Athletes

While this is a massage, it’s a massage for athletes, so it’s not your typical incense and oil massage. A sports recovery massage is designed to target sore, overworked muscles which can leave newcomers to sports recovery massages a little surprised by the experience. While sports recovery massages have a fine line between discomfort and pain, this type of massage therapy for athletes tends more towards the discomfort side than an aromatherapy massage due to the working of your muscles by the masseuse. 

The American Massage Therapy Association lists some of the main benefits of massage therapy for athletes: 

  • Reduce muscle tension

  • Promote relaxation

  • Increase range of motion

  • Decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue after exercise

  • Improve exercise performance

  • Decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

  • Reduce swelling

  • Reduce breathing pattern disorders

  • Enhance athletic performance

Sports recovery massage at Courted 

The sports recovery massage at Courted is tailor-made to help your body heal and recover from injuries and intense workouts faster and more efficiently. This 60-minute massage sustains the effort you worked so hard for at the gym while increasing your athletic performance and flexibility. 


Peak Performance Doesn’t Just Come from the Gym 

Hitting the gym alone can’t get you to your best. To beat the competition and set that personal record, you need to look beyond your workout. A sports recovery massage from Courted can help you bounce back from your hardest days faster and keep your body moving how you want it. To book your sports recovery massage, call us at (703) 239-6910 or visit us online


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