The Olympics are fast approaching and have got the world talking about some of the best international contenders all over the world. Athletes are hard on themselves when they train and their bodies take the hit for it. However, there is a common goal for all athletes, which is to give in their best to win the game. Today’s best athletes have trained for years, months, days, and hours to earn their titles and still train despite their achievements.
However, while this training is important for success, there is a downside to it as they constantly work their muscles. A New York Times article tells a story of what happens when a training backfires.
There’s so much stress placed on the muscles, joints, and bones, which could cause strains and soreness. The question now is how many of these athletes consider these consequences and take care of their bodies as much as they train? Every athlete understands self-care to an extent but are they doing it right and more so, adequately?
Why Olympic Athletes Need Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has been part of the Olympic Games for decades and even the ancient Greek athletes used sports massage before and after competing. The benefits of massage therapy before and after a major game cannot be overemphasized, so we have put together some of the top benefits you should know.
Massaging the muscles does not only help you stay agile but also contributes in many other ways to your physical strength. This includes an improved speed of recovery, especially in tight and damaged muscle tissue. It also increases tissue permeability and helps stretch deeper tissues that your usual stretching routines won’t be able to reach, which improves flexibility. If you want more from your physical training, a massage will give you greater benefits and make your hard training worth it.
Consistent tough training can cause muscle pain and strain and a massage can help alleviate that pain to aid in quick recovery. It also helps your muscle relax from the tedious workout you have put them through and especially targets groups of muscles to help them function better.
Massage therapy has been proven to help reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. It also helps promote blood circulation. A study at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows how massage therapy improves general blood flow and alleviates muscle soreness after exercise. It further proved how effective this is regardless of your physical activity, whether great or small.
Athletes often get tense before any game, especially at the Olympics. A 2014 study shows how the sports setting takes a toll on the physiological health of athletes. The study assessed depression, anxiety, and stress in athletes and found that there is not any significant difference between the elite athlete and the general population. This means, like every other person, athletes get depressed, anxious, and stressed. Massage can help reduce the feeling of anxiety and also produce an invigorating feeling that can encourage the athletes before any game.
Injury from strenuous workouts is not uncommon in athletes and a tool like the Blood Flow Restriction Cuff can be a game-changer. The BFR pump works effectively to enhance healing and recover muscle strength after an injury or strain. With this tool in every athlete’s rehabilitation program, there will be faster healing and recovery periods.
Massage also increases the quality of sleep, of which studies have shown that it helps improve sports performance in athletes. Most professional athletes are competitive and busy so they hardly get some time to rest. However, effective massage therapy might just be all they need to get an increased quantity and quality of sleep.
When to Administer a Massage
Massage during the Olympics or when training for a game is different from the average person getting a massage after a long day of work. For professional athletes, there are specific times you can administer massage therapy to get maximum effects. This includes:
This is done about 20-30 minutes before the event to warm up the muscles and increase blood circulation throughout the body. This massage focuses on the specific muscles that will be stretched the most during the event.
This is done to help the athlete recover from muscle strain, soreness, or cramping that may have occurred during the event. The goal is to relieve muscular tension, restore blood circulation, lengthen tight muscles, and quicken recovery.
This happens between events to help the athlete keep up with the pace. It targets their strength, flexibility, posture, and coordination and also loosens off tightness within soft tissues. All of these help to improve performance and reduce injury in the course of the game.
This is done to help speed healing and reduce pain after the muscles have been worked to their maximum capacity. Every professional athlete has a rehabilitation program but adding massage therapy to this program makes a huge difference. It helps relax the muscle, boost the circulatory system, and reduce future muscle damage.
The Best Massage Options
There are different massage options to use but you must also consider ease of access and effectiveness. In the Olympics, you will need something quick yet effective enough to give you desired results.
Massage guns are making the news lately because of how effective they are. You can use the RecoverFun Plus Massage Gun which is more than the average massage gun, as it is stronger and targets deeper muscle tissues. With a portable-sized massage gun like this, you can get an effective massage anywhere and any time even at the Olympics.
Blood Flow Restriction Air Cuff with Pump
You can also try the blood flow restriction training by using the tried and tested Recoverfun Air Cuff that is based on the proven science behind Japanese Kaatsu. As a professional athlete, this will give you better and faster results as you train hard for the Olympics.
As athletes around the world prepare for the Olympics, the common goal for everyone is to give in their best. Appropriate massage therapy might be the significant difference in the performance of two athletes. Considering the numerous benefits of massage therapy, especially for athletes, you will be making a great decision by incorporating one into your routine