Several sports massage studies have concluded that massage aids in recovery and reduces side effects after any type of strenuous exercise.
A 1995 study looking at the effects of massage and rest. They compared people who exercised vigorously and those that don’t. The vigorous exercisers got the better results after they got massages between sets of exercise. They recovered quickly and performed better in subsequent exercises. It’s a widely accepted fact that exercise will improve muscle strength. The University of North Carolina in 1990 compared the leg muscle strength of a group of men who exercised and got massages compared to a group that exercised but didn’t get massages. The non-massaged group of men experienced a decrease in muscle strength, while the massaged group experienced an increase in strength. This study is a little older, but still impressive. The 1989 study conducted in Aspen, Colorado determined recuperation from fatigue occurs more often and muscular endurance is increased with massages compared to when rest alone is used.
The winning combination is a pre-event massage and a post-event massage. By combining sports massage and stretching exercises, the massage therapist can help the athlete prepare the body before an event. It helps to prepare the athlete by relaxing the muscles so they are ready for exercise. An added benefit is that it helps reduce pre event anxiety and puts them in a clearer calm state of mind. The post event massage helps in relieving muscle tension afterwards. When muscles are tense they can’t perform their maximum best. Therapeutic bodywork massage is wonderful at helping to improve peak performance by keeping muscles at their peak of flexibility and strength. It also reduces any unpleasant effects of heavy exercise, such as muscle soreness and stiffness.
At Centerpoint, the MN massage school, we have classes and diplomas that will help you in working with athletes. Consider enrolling in our Therapeutic Bodywork for Athletes to get more in-depth sports massage training call 952-562-5200.