What exactly is Sport Massage?
Our therapists here at Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage all have advanced sport massage certifications and can apply sport massage techniques using their thumbs, hands and elbows (If needed) to attain moderate to deep pressure.
Sport massage techniques can be used to deal with common injuries such as muscular strains and tightness. However, sport massage isn’t just the athlete. Sport massage can also benefit an individual suffering from pain and tight muscles due to the physical demands of their job. Sport massage can be beneficial in a number of circumstances such as;
- Pre–Event Sport Massage
- Inter-Competition Sport Massage
- Post-Event Sport Massage
- Maintenance Sport Massage
Pre-event sport massage – includes the application of vigorous and rhythmic massage strokes as a way of warming the athlete up. Pre-event massage can improve tissue flexibility, maximise performance and reduce the risk of injury. Pre-event massage can also allow time for mental preparation prior to activity.
Inter-Competition Sport Massage –The techniques used during Inter-competition or re a passive method to maintain blood circulation and to re-distribute the generated metabolic bi-products or lactic acid build-up which is a result of the activity. This is a very critical stage in the sport massage as therapists need to be careful not to work so hard that they potentially change the dynamics of how the athlete may perform. An Example of this time of massage that our therapists have been involved in is at Brent Saik’s Longest Hockey game 2018 in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation, where the players were on the ice for shifts of up to 7 hours at a time in the attempt to break the world record for the longest ongoing hockey game and another being Red Bull Crushed Ice 2018. The massages were more relaxation sessions as these athletes needed rest but they also needed us to make sure that were just massaging for comfort and maintaining circulation.
Post-event sport massage – The name is pretty self-explanatory and includes the application of slow massage strokes used to relax muscles and is typically done with in two hours of the “end” of the event or even a day or two after the event.
Post-event is typically shorter in length and can be done as follows:
- within two (2) hours of the event the length is typically 15-20 minutes
- within a day or two you can likely proceed with a regular length massage being mindful that there may be excessive soreness and the athlete may need lighter techniques.
The cellular effects following sports massage reportedly include an increase in blood circulation which can assist in the removal of metabolic waste products from the working muscles.
Our massage therapists will use post-event massage to reduce pain, prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and relieve muscular tightness.
Maintenance Sport Massage – we believe that massage done during an athletes regular training season is of the most value and should be done regularly during the training season as a means of assisting with like the name says, “maintenance” and recovery.
Maintenance sport massage can help reduce recovery time following training, can allow the athlete to work at a higher intensity and can potentially positive influence the athletes training performance during the season.
Some national and international level athletes will have daily maintenance sport massage as a part of their training program. Although this may be a financial problem for a lot of athletes, we strongly support our athletes and believe that massage should be a part of “whole athlete” training for optimal athletic performance. This is one of the reasons why we have an athletic sponsorship program.
It is important to remember that regular maintenance massage is very importance and our therapists provide this to individual athletes and to sport teams. Check out our Sport Massage Services Page and reach out to us for more details.
However, regularity of massage treatments is more important than frequency and any regularly scheduled massage will enhance the athlete’s training by helping with recovery.
The duration of each massage, the techniques used and in general the type of massage performed on the athlete will vary from treatment to treatment, from athlete to athlete, sport to sport and condition to condition.
Choosing a sports therapist
It is very important that the you choose a sport therapist who is certified and who has actually had experience with a variety of different athletes and different sports. Knowing the athlete is critical as then the therapist can customize massage techniques to each athletes specific needs. Equally important is that your therapist actually has the physical fitness levels to consistently work with the athlete…that the therapist also has the ability to understand the athlete, to inspire the athlete and to develop a rapport with the athlete or team.
In order for the massage therapist to safely and effectively treat athletes, it is recommended that specific adjunctive knowledge be acquired and sufficient field and clinical experience be gained. Don’t just trust that the massage therapist understands and can effectively treat your athlete just because they say they do sport massage….Always ask to see certifications, resumes and experience before putting the body of your high performance athlete in the hands of just any therapist.
All of our therapist’s have advanced sport massage certifications and have years of experience working with sponsored athletes in a multitude of different sports; working with athletes at events, working at the grass-roots level with our young athletes (ages 5 years old and up) and finally working with the non-competitive athlete who still has the same massage needs.
Reach out to us for all of your athletic massage, sport massage and team sport massage needs and check out our individual athlete pages.