A lot of bodybuilders, wellness fans and athletes ask us, how will sports massage complement my gym training? So, we’ve collated a range of resources about sports massage, who it’s for, how it can help and what you should expect to pay for treatment programmes. We hope this quick 7-minute read will help you understand how sports massage can complement your gym training and build better bodies.
What is a Sports Massage?
A sports massage is designed to aid athletes, active people and weight trainers in their goals. It’s carried out by a qualified sports massage therapist or physio with bespoke training in the skeletal and muscular systems. Each sports massage treatment programme is designed to speed up recovery, reduce soreness, maintain range of motion and prevent injury. It’s part of most training programmes and is made up of a more intense and focused massage pattern than conventional types like shiatsu and Swedish. But you will see some of these techniques in a sports massage, often combined with effleurage, petrissage, compression, tapping, friction, vibration, light load work, gliding, stretching and trigger point release. It is usually performed clothed in light and flexible garments and the average session is 60 minutes.
Who does it help?
A sports massage is good for any active person in average health. According to Very Well Health, “the reported benefits of sports massage include:
- Increased joint range of motion (ROM)
- Increased flexibility
- Increased sense of well-being
- Decreased muscle tension
- Decreased neurological excitability (nerves more relaxed)
- Decreased muscle spasms
- Better sleep
- Nerve flossing
It’s also thought to improve circulation and reduce the chance of injury. So you’ll see it used by athletes, active people and weight trainers to keep their bodies at optimal performance. Aside from some soreness or a minor allergic reaction to massage oils possible on the day or two after treatment, there are no real risks associated with a sports massage. But you’ll want to let your therapist know of any injuries or pain you have so they can adjust your treatment accordingly.
How will sports massage complement my gym training?
According to Women’s Health, “recovery is an important step of any training program. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the gym or getting ready to run your next marathon. Any kind of exercise puts your body through wear and tear, so you want to give your muscles and tendons the opportunity to properly repair. This is why many active people opt for a form of massage therapy called a sports massage.” Since it has been proven to increase your range of motion, reduce tension and aid muscle recovery, it’s a staple training component for footballers, runners, Olympians, bodybuilders and more. The word massage is a bit misleading, however. A sports massage includes other elements (bespoke to the client) like stretches, guided movement, resistance exercises and mobilisations similar to .
How much does it cost?
Sports massage rates are between £.50-£1 per minute in the UK. You may get a discount if you sign up for regular sessions and pay in advance. Many gyms and health clubs offer sports massage or physio. You may also seek treatment at spas, GPs or wellness centres. If you are injured, you may need physiotherapy over a sports massage. According to the NHS, “It’s a specialist treatment where techniques such as massage, manipulation and exercises are used to improve range of motion, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and return the normal function of the injured area. A physiotherapist can also develop an exercise programme to help strengthen the affected body part and reduce the risk of the injury recurring.” A sports massage is better suited for regular preventative and recovery work. Since it’s not treating illness, it is generally not usually covered by the NHS.
How often will I need treatments?
Weekly treatments for £30-£45 per session are the most common. But since every person’s body and treatment goal is different, your sports massage therapist will discuss your needs and devise a bespoke plan. This might include bi-weekly, weekly or bi-monthly sessions. Since sports massage is largely preventative and restorative, you should create a plan and stick to it. If you are injured or develop a health concern over the course of your programme, talk to your therapist about how to adjust your regular treatments.
If you’re interested in adding restorative sports massage to your gym training programme, talk to one of our team members today. We’ll help you create a treatment programme that complements your fitness goals and works in tandem with your workout routine.