Sports massage benefits for runners
How massage can boost your running training
A regular sports massage can help the runner's body no end, to recover from the pains and aches of a lengthy run, and to improve blood supply and flexibility. Whether opting for a massage before or after a running workout or race, runners will soon feel the benefits of a sports massage, beating running injuries by returning to a pre-exercise bodily state. Here's an introduction to the world of sports massage and its running benefits.
Massage in its numerous forms has been used for centuries. However, recent advances in sport and exercise science have highlighted the potential of sports massage to improve circulation and accelerate recovery from activity and injury. More importantly you don’t need to be an runner to receive these benefits; sports massage can significantly improve the condition of the muscles of any runner, of any level.
Sports massage returns muscle fibres to pre-exercise state
Simply defined, sports massage encompasses a number of special techniques that involve a skilled therapist working into the tissues and muscle fibres of a runner's body so that they are returned to their pre-exercise state.
As running is a repetitive activity that stresses the body, numerous problems can occur such as general aches and pains and reduced flexibility. The deep massage, pumping and stroking movements improve circulation, remove waste products and improve elasticity. Furthermore, sports massage not only combats physical and physiological problems of runners, but the psychological benefits such as invigoration and reduction of mental tension are of equal benefit.
Sports massage pre-running, during running and post-running
To gain benefits, massage treatments can be administered pre-running event, during event, post-event (directly after running) or post event (several days after running activity). Once initial information has been gathered regarding your exercise history, range of movement and flexibility, the treatment begins by warming up your muscles using oils and gentle manipulation. Then, gradually the therapist will work their way into the runner's muscles, starting at the surface and gradually going deeper.
It is important to note that there are times when sports massage is an unsuitable treatment. When running injury first occurs, discomfort and inflammation will be at their greatest and massage should be avoided so that the condition is not made worse. This is particularly important when considering undertaking any form of self-massage.
All in all, sports massage provides an impressive package of benefits to the runner. It helps keep runners injury-free, loose, supple and in optimum running condition. To locate a therapist contact your running club, gym or local sports club and they will be able to put you in touch with one.
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