How Massage Therapists Help Us Perform Better as Athletes

Athletes work hard to get their body in the right shape to perform at their best during a sporting event. Lifting heavy weight, running hard, and constant training can be really taxing to the body especially if you do them intensely.

Coaches and athletes turn to massage therapy to help them recover from the grueling training. Regular massage work speeds up recovery, slowly gets rid of pain, helps injury prevention, and enhances your athlete’s ability to focus.

All those benefits can be broken down into even more specific details. If you follow a regular training program, a massage will be very rewarding to your tired body. Massage therapy will provide positive effects to your body which directly translates to athletic performance.

  • Makes you more flexible. A flexible athlete will always perform better on the field or court. Muscle fibers are being stretched when you get a massage. It maintains the high degree of muscle elasticity reducing movement restrictions when performing athletic movements.
  • Blood circulation is better. Massage promotes good blood flow. This means it delivers nutrients to the muscles more efficiently. Breathing also improves. Performing at a high level will be easier with a more efficient circulatory system.
  • Ease muscle pain. Soreness due to training or pain because of an injury will limit the ability of an athlete. Massaging the affected areas will slowly get rid of the pain and the athlete will be able to return to their peak form.
  • Sleeping better is a result of massage. The relaxing effect of massage is the reason behind that sleepy feeling you get after the session. It also promotes higher quality sleep because the body and mind feel completely relaxed.
  • Reduce physical stress felt by an athlete. Many athletes are stressed because of the rigorous physical activity and it can make it hard for them to ease up and relax. This will have a negative effect on their body in the long run. Regular massages will reduce stress levels to keep them from having a debilitating effect on the body.

Athletes can choose from several types of massage techniques to gain its positive benefits. Each technique will deliver a different effect to body. If you go for a deep tissue massage, it will work on removing the muscle adhesions that keep athletes from moving effectively. Injured athletes and those needing relief from body tension will greatly benefit from this type of massage work.

Soft tissue work like active release massage is another massage technique beneficial to athletes. Common pains felt by athletes from knee pain, tennis elbow, sciatica, shin splits, to shoulder pain will slowly go away.

Myofascial release works on the muscle fascia that wraps around the muscle which breaks down first during training. It brings back the mobility and relaxes the muscle to reduce pain. The therapist will also stimulate the stretchiness of the muscle to allow it to relax.

Other massage techniques include sports massage therapy, trigger point massage, and Swedish massage. All of them will lessen inflammation and promote more energy producing mitochondria in the muscles. This will make your athlete perform better once they step on the court.

Tips for Becoming a Stronger Paddler

One of the best ways to become a stronger paddler is to just go out there and paddle. Nothing beats hands-on training and endurance. But if you are really serious about becoming a stronger paddler, then you can do some strength training complemented with supplements. Here are some tips for becoming stronger paddler.

paddling

Paddle. Like what we’ve stated earlier, nothing beats getting your hands wet by actually paddling and training yourself. You’ll then be able to determine which part of your body you’ll need to work out in order to improve your paddling strength. If you have the time to go into the water and paddle, don’t hesitate! Repetition is the key to success and there’s nothing that beats paddling itself to train your body to become a stronger paddler.

Cardio. If you didn’t know, paddling is a cardio exercise. That means anything that improves your cardiovascular strength can also help you become a stronger paddler. Running, cycling, aerobic workouts and even just walking your dog are cardiovascular workout. In addition to that, cardio workouts boosts endurance, allowing you to paddle more and gain more strength!

Workout. Although paddling is the best way to make you a stronger paddler, you can’t just be paddling all the time. But there are certain workouts that can help you improve your paddling strength and keep your muscles lubricated to prevent performance degradation. There are multiple workouts that can help you become a stronger paddler and also to maintain your muscles. Here are some exercises to become a stronger paddler.

  • One arm lateral pull downs – Your feet shoulder width apart and your position balanced your arm by your side and its opposite at head height on the cable machine. Pull down the cable and then do the other arm, repeat the cycle. This is a great exercise to improve core and paddle strength.
  • Triceps pulls – with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, stand facing away from the cable machine and hold the cables or resistance bands over your shoulder. Pull your hands forward until they extend in front of your head. Once fully extended, maintain your body position for a while before slowly returning to the starting position. This is a great exercise to strengthen your triceps.
  • Bosu ball kettle swing – stand on a bosu ball with your legs shoulder-width apart in a slightly crouched position, your back straight and your hands holding a kettle bell between your legs. Swing the kettle ball forward, upward up to head level while maintaining a straight arm, back and body balance. Return to the starting position and then repeat. This is a full body exercise that develops strength and stability in the shoulder and core.

Those are just some of the basic workout to help you become a stronger paddler.