Training and working out as an athlete, whether as a professional or amateur, requires demanding and vigorous physical exercise in order to meet goals, as well as reach new heights in your development. While this kind of dedication can produce excellent results, it doesn’t address vital points that are necessary for growth and maintenance on such a high level. Being an athlete doesn’t start and end while you’re at the gym; you need to care of your body in between, too.
Sports massage has been used by professional athletes for decades as a form of legitimate physical therapy that addresses the other side of training. This side is typically concerned with maintenance, increased range of motion, injury prevention, muscle tension and fatigue. Yet, it isn’t quite a day at the spa; sports massage helps you become a better, healthier athlete and promotes long-term development.
Any athlete who is serious about competing in their sport or consistently hitting goals should consider sports massage therapy as a permanent element of their overall exercise program. Here are 5 reasons the staff at Dreamclinic recommend sports massage to take you to the next level as an athlete:
Daily or Weekly Muscle Conditioning
The average person who seeks out massage therapy, in Seattle or anywhere, might do so once or twice a month. This may be perfectly fine for them and their needs. But an athlete, who is strenuously working out his or her muscles, perhaps almost daily, needs a therapeutic program that corresponds with the higher level of activity and frequency. Daily or weekly conditioning allows you to not only expedite your physical muscle growth, it allows you to more closely monitor muscle tone and development, thereby having a better sense of what you need to do every day at the gym.
This is a huge benefit of sports massage. After all, an injury can stop any athlete in their tracks when it comes to their goals. But by stretching the muscles, sports massage offsets the effect of intense workouts. For example, muscles that are tightened through intense workouts are far more likely to injure during competition or heightened activity. In addition, sports massage preventively reverses the toll caused by the overuse of certain muscles. Muscle damage can also be gradual and occur across long periods and may be difficult to notice. Certain muscles are continuously used in particular sports and become frayed and stuck and inflexible. Sports massage can repair torn tissue, break down scar tissue, and realign muscle fibers, so you’re addressing weaknesses at any point in your muscular profile.
Reduced Muscle Tension
Sports massage can target particular muscles or areas of your body by using manual and highly flexible force to promote the circulation of blood and signal for your body to repair inflamed muscle tissue. This is particularly important after a long day of exercise as a recovery tool so your muscles receive attention and are ready for the next workout.
Increased Range of Motion
You probably have an idea how vital your range of motion is to your sport. With looser muscles and joints from extended sports massage therapy, athletes are able to enjoy a greater range of motion with their muscles. This gives them more power too. To put it simply, your muscles are relaxed and are able to extend fully, allowing you to move without feeling muscular constriction or tightness. Overall, this can be a great hidden perk to enhancing your general athletic performance.
Physical and Psychological Relaxation
Finally, athletic training can be incredibly stressful both to your body and your mind. At its simplest, it feels good to let your body relax and allow yourself to physically enjoy a well-needed massage. Sports massage therapy can also stimulate the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure. In this way, it allows you to feel a sense of psychological well-being and calm, which is, believe it or not, a practical benefit for the athletic psyche. In turn, it allows you to approach competition or sport with a sense of greater mental balance and motivation.
If you’re interested in reaching another level as an athlete, a regular sports massage may be right for you. And the staff at Dreamclinic in Seattle and the surround areas are ready to help you customize your therapy. Give us a call!