Most people might assume that professional athletes use massage after their main competition. However, massage can prove beneficial for both professional athletes and weekend warriors before training begins, throughout the training process and after the competition. Whether you are just picking up a new competitive hobby or training for the next marathon, adding massage therapy to your training regimen can really help your body adapt and heal.
Not every athlete is the same so not every training and treatment program will be the same. A good massage therapist will adjust to their client’s needs. Talk to your therapist about your training protocol and they will work with you to determine what the best options are to help you meet your needs.
There are three common massage techniques that your therapist might use. The first is called effleurage which is a series of massage strokes that warm up the muscles in preparation for deeper tissue work. Your therapist will use long, slow strokes to sense any underlying muscle issues. Many therapists will use this at the end of a sports massage to close out a treatment session.
Petrissage is a bit different in that it uses slow and rhythmic movements to knead the muscles and fascia. The kneading strokes help to stretch and relax muscles as well as increasing circulation. There is research to suggest that this massage technique can alleviate muscle soreness, facilitate recovery from muscle stiffness, and improve muscle performance. And the final technique, tapotement is described as rapid, percussion-like hand movements, typically performed at the end of a session.
Whether you are a regular triathlete or just enjoying a few rounds of golf or tennis on the weekends, massage therapy can help keep you at peak performance.