Sports Massages are very common amongst athletes today. Many believe in doing these before and/or after races. Even at race carnivals, there may be a massage booth for runners to have their tired legs massaged.
What makes sports massages so popular these days?Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of these – in order to understand why many runners and other athletes believe in these.
1. Helps to stretch muscle tissues
Sports Massages help to stretch the sheath or fascia surrounding the muscles – both lengthwise and sideways – and so, releases the build up of tension and pressure caused from running and other vigorous sports.
2. Dilates the blood vessels
Having sports massages can help to dilate the blood vessels, after a exercise session, thus helping nutrients to pass through the vessels more easily and so, aiding in repair and recovery of the muscles.
3. Improves elasticity
Hard training can cause our body’s muscles to become tight and stiff. By having a sports massage, it is believed that it improves the elasticity and flexibility of the tissues, by stretching them and thus speeding up the recovery process.
4. Helps to get rid of scar tissues
When we exercise, scar tissues accumulates in our body over time and these can have an effect on the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Typically, scar tissues are inflexible and they increase a athlete’s tendency to get injured and suffer pain during exercise. Sports Massages are believed to help to break these down, with direct pressure being applied on the muscles.
5. Reduces pain from muscle tension and lactic acid built-up
Having a sports massage can be quite painful if your muscles are stiff, but such massages can help to speed up the recovery process and reduce the pain caused by the exertion of exercises. This is because sports massages help to get rid of the tension, lactic acid and waste products accumulating in the muscles after exercise.
What if I can’t afford regular Sports Massages?
However despite the benefits, Sports Massages is not cheap though, costing an average of about $60 to $100 for an hour-long session in Singapore.
But if you can’t afford one, you can always try the next best thing, which is to self-massage at home, with a foam roller. With the cheapest foam rollers setting you back by about $20 onwards, this should be a more viable option.
Meant to apply pressure onto particularly tight or painful parts of your body after exercise, foam rollers also help to aid the recovery of your tired muscles and thus, speeding up their rate of recovery to get you back to feeling your best.
The main difference between a Do-It-Yourself foam roller and an actual sports massage though, is that you may not apply enough pressure on the muscles, due to the pain that could be caused – and as such, the process is not as effective as it can be.