Massage is a fantastic way to aid in your preparation for a long distance run or even just your regular weekend warrior looking to loosen up those stiff and sore muscles. Today, we’re going to focus on the benefits for pre and post exercise and which style you should be getting.
There are a number of different types of massage therapy consisting of:
Active release therapy
Swedish/ effleurage massage
Trigger point therapy
Deep tissue massage
Some great benefits of massage are:
Reducing muscle tension
Improving circulation which lowers blood pressure
Stimulation of the lymphatic system
Increasing joint mobility and flexibility
Improves the recovery of soft tissue injuries
Reduced anxiety and depression
Heightened mental alertness
There are two key points to keep in mind regarding massage therapy for pre or post exercise massages. These are;
Timing of the massage-
This point is mainly referring to pre exercise massages and the time it takes for the body to recover from. In most cases discomfort will last 3-4 days however if massage is not a regular occurrence in a training regimen it might last up to 5 days. So time your massage correctly before you train or compete for the maximum effect. In regards to post exercise massage, timing is based on the person and the level of discomfort or tightness felt by the individual. If your body is feeling tight or sore after you have exercised and it persists longer than normal a massage can be a fantastic way to assist the body’s Lymphatic system and help contracted muscles stretch back to pre exercise length.
Type of massage-
As listed above there are a number of different types of massage, selecting the correct one is key for pre and post exercise. For post exercise, it is recommended that Swedish/effleurage massage is most beneficial as the techniques promote the removal of metabolic waste product. For pre exercise, it is recommended that a combination of active/passive release therapy, trigger point therapy and deep tissue massage. This combination focuses on releasing muscle tension and improving mobility and flexibility of joints.