Updated: Oct 15
Sure, foam rollers and massage guns can help recovery, but a regular sports massage may help take your fitness to the NEXT LEVEL.
What is sports massage??
Sports massage has been around for quite a few years, but it has only grown in popularity over the last five or so years. Sportsmen and women are more visible and accessible to the public eye than ever before, and this is especially true in CrossFit. The general public is more interested in how CrossFit athletes perform and what they do to get ready for a competition.
Sports massage is used for a number of different reasons, but it is especially effective in aiding recovery, improving mobility, and treating and preventing injury. This makes it a perfect tool within professional sports to help improve individual performance.
Sports like CrossFit demands different functional movements at different levels of intensity and variety. When you become injured, your body’s effectiveness becomes compromised and compensates for that injured area. This diminishes your ability to react and carry out movements to their optimum potential.
To ensure you perform at your best, you must recover quickly and efficiently after competition or training. This enables you to gain the full benefit from a hard workout or strength-and-conditioning session. If you don’t recover efficiently, then performance and fatigue can set in, eventually succumbing to the effects of overtraining.
Recovery & Injury Prevention are two of the most important factors contributing to high-level performance. To fully benefit from hard strength/conditioning sessions and to help prevent injuries, we MUST recover as efficiently and quickly as possible. There has been an argument brewing regarding CrossFit and raising the bar for “overtraining” for some time now. Equally, most of us have heard about overtraining and rhabdomyolysis which must be avoided. If we do not recover well enough, then impaired performance, fatigue, and lethargy are likely to occur.
Continuous poor recovery will most likely lead to an injury or overtraining syndrome. Whilst it is important for this to be monitored, more often than not your coach/therapist will take this on board and do the thinking/programming for you. Therefore, you have one less thing to think about. Importantly, leaving you to focus more on RECOVERY.
Regular massage therapy can help you recover from high bouts of intense training. A change in program design = Volume/intensity/type of exercise will often leave you feeling sore/tight post activity. A change in tissue tone is thought to impede the rate we are able to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cells and also negatively affect the way we expel waste products from our muscles. Areas of local tenderness will represent themselves as trigger points – these are the areas we aim to find when rolling out on our foam roller or lacrosse ball. Excessive trigger points can cause inhibition of the muscle and thus have a detrimental effect on performance. Furthermore, this can then lead to biomechanical abnormalities which in my personal opinion is one of the main predisposing factors for injury as a result of poor movement patterns.
Sports massage can help:
Promote efficient scar formatio