Sports Massage Therapy for Peak Athletic Performance
For professional, semi-pros or professional hopefuls, and so-called “weekend warriors” alike, achieving athletic success—however you define “success”—requires hard work and dedication. Performing at your best, whether that involves making an elite team or running a competitive race, means working your body hard: pushing the limits of your endurance and building muscle strength and flexibility. Yet all that hard work, and your athletic success, can be quickly undermined by pain, fatigue, and injury.
Staying at the top of your game means taking care of your body “off the field” as well as “on the field” through proper nutrition, active recovery, injury avoidance, and rest. Sports massage therapy, in addition to good eating and sleep habits, can play a critical role in maintaining and even enhancing your peak athletic performance. When performed by an experienced, qualified, and licensed massage therapist, sports massage can help alleviate pain and discomfort from delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), facilitate relaxation in overworked muscles, increase flexibility and mobility, reduce recovery time, and prevent injury.
In other words, incorporating regular sports massage into your exercise routine will make you feel better and help keep you at the top of your game!
What is Sports Massage Therapy?
Sports massage therapy is specifically designed to offer deep and rehabilitating recovery to muscles and soft tissues stressed by an active, athletic lifestyle. Sports massage therapy incorporates a variety of different massage techniques, focusing on specific muscle groups instead of full-body relaxation. And a sports massage can get a bit uncomfortable as the massage works out areas of tightness, inelasticity, and lack of flexibility!
After an initial assessment of your specific needs, your licensed massage therapist will develop a customized treatment plan designed to target muscle groups and areas of soft tissue damage stemming from your specific area of athletic expertise. Your unique sports massage may involve techniques such as:
- Myofascial release: designed to relax and stretch the connective tissue (fascia) around bones, muscles, and tendons.
- Trigger points: repeated patterns of isolated pressure and release can help reduce trigger points within the muscles at the root of pain and discomfort.
- Muscle energy: active contraction of large muscular groupings can help stretch, relax, and strengthen tight and inflexible muscles.
- Soft tissue release: active, passive, and/or weight bearing techniques can help stretch and relax tightness in the tendons, fascia, and/or muscles.
Benefits of Sports Massage Therapy
At the most basic level, of course, the overall benefit of sports massage therapy is enhanced athletic performance. In fact, however, sports massage therapy provides a wide range of specific benefits that all “add up” to help you perform better and recover faster. These specific benefits can include:
- Improved healing for existing injury and prevention of common overuse injuries
- Decrease in post-workout recovery times
- Increased flexibility, elasticity, and range of motion in large muscle groupings
- Improved muscle growth and endurance performance due to improved blood flow
- Reduction in heart rate and blood pressure
- Relief from muscle pain, discomfort, and tension
And while a sports massage may not be designed to be “relaxing”, sports massage therapy does have psychological benefits as well, such as lowering anxiety, improving mood, and improving quality of sleep. While it’s easy to discount the importance of psychology in peak athletic performance, the fact is, when you feel great physically and mentally, you simply perform better!
At the Tampa Massage Clinic, located in Tampa, Florida, nothing is more important than human touch. To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Pediatric Massage Instructor, Jakki Bosco LMT, please call (813) 298-5603.
Serving patients in and around greater Tampa Bay, Town N Country, Clearwater, St. Pete, Carrollwood, East Lake, Westchase, Land O Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, University of South Florida, Brandon, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Dundin, Hillsborough County, and Pasco County Florida.