Sports Massage: Complete Guide, Types & Benefits

Sports Massage: Spa Guide, Benefits & Types

People who are not actively involved in sporting activities wonders if a sports massage is really important. Non-sport men and women, including athletes, will be surprised after reading the importance of sports massage on their body in this article. 

What is Sports Massage? 

Sports massage is a remarkable treatment used in preparing an athlete’s body condition before any physical activity and stimulating the recovery process from any ailment. It has several functions, but the sole aim is to increase the physical condition of your body. 

Most people wonder why athletes eat a specific food or follow a particular diet. This is because athletes are preparing their bodies to accommodate the heavy task that comes with their careers. Their career stretches their muscles and ligaments, and a good sports massage can make them recover from any impediment or pain. 

If you aspire to attain high results in your sporting career, then a massage is more important than your routine exercise or workouts. An old Chinese proverb says; the achievements of an athlete are 50% dependent on the expertise of his/her massage therapist.

ALSO SEE: Top-10 Most Popular Sports In The World

What are the Kinds of Sports Massage?

Before explaining the different kinds of sports massage, you need to know that sports massage cannot be called a cosmetic or medical treatment.

Also, sports massage is not aimed at fighting cellulite or correcting chronic diseases. But if you want to achieve excellent results during training or find something special, then a sports massage is right for you. There are different types:

1. Training

This is a significant component of sport, and it serves as a means of increasing stamina and performance. During training, the muscles and tissues of your body are stretched to improve its function.  

2. Preliminary

This activity is conducted before starting any exercise, and in some exceptional cases, it replaces warm-up. It can last a maximum of 25-30 minutes and is aimed at improving your blood circulation and opening the functional capabilities of your muscles. It can be carried out using special oils, creams, gels that enhance the effect.

3. Recovery

This exercise promotes relaxation and healing after intense workouts. Specific consideration is channeled to some areas with the maximum load.

What are the Benefits of Sports Massage?

Sports massage has the attention of many since every professional athlete wants to be active during training or perform better. Also, amateur athletes, for example, bodybuilders, are aiming to be in shape before any competition. Some of the benefits of sports massage include:

1. Relieves chronic back pain

A study was carried out to see the effectiveness of sports massage between two injured sets of people. One group of people were actively involved in sport messaging for ten days, while the others were not involved in any physical activities. The study shows that in ten days, there is a noteworthy development in pain relief in people undergoing sport massaging compare to the other individuals with no physical exercise.

2. Releases the stress and muscular tension on the tissue

Research shows that good massage therapy lessens the cortisol levels and intensify the production of the oxytocin hormone. This hormone causes the relaxation of your body and causes calming effects. 

3. Reduces inflammation in the different body regions

The result from medical practitioners shows that massage decreases inflammation and muscular spasms by exciting some blood flow, soothing muscles to thin the supply of oxygen.

4. Improves the recovery and performance of athletes

In sports, massage is usually carried out before any sporting activity to warm the body and avert injuries. 

5. Decreases the symptoms of arthritis

Statistics from Arthritis Foundation shows that a good sports massage can ease symptoms of arthritis, such as chronic joint pain, stiffness, and anxiety. 

Other side benefits of sports massage include:

  1. Increases your body stamina
  2. Stimulates the recovery process after some physical exertion
  3. Combats the negative consequences of sprains, hematomas, etc.
  4. Reduces body fatigue and increased muscle elasticity
  5. Improves lymph outflow, blood circulation, removal of toxins from the body

What is the Difference Between Sports Massage vs. Deep Tissue?

Deep tissue massage is similar to sports massage but with a more in-depth application of pressure, beneficial for loosening chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia (a three-dimensional network of connective tissue that surrounds, penetrates, and supports all muscles, bones, nerves, and organs).

While sports massage focuses on improving lymphatic blood circulation and relaxing superficial muscles, deep tissue massage focuses on connective tissue. The goal is to produce changes in freedom of movement and posture.

What is the Difference Between Sports Massage vs. Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists are physicians trained to restore to full functionality the body from any ache and pains by creating a specific itinerary to suite it patient. While sports massage is carried out by certified individuals with the requisite knowledge and health techniques about the body and the different tissues or organs.

When Should I Get a Sports Massage?

Generally, sports massage therapists perform their treatment at the very beginning, in the middle, and at the very end of sports activities or any competitive game. However, it’s also possible, if not encouraged, to see your massage therapist for regular sessions, even if you don’t have a competition looming. But for serious athletes and sportspeople, it is recommended to plan one massage session per month.

What Can I Expect from my First Sports Massage?

Some people get nervous when they first visit a massage parlor, which is understandable. A good sports massage session is the right time to relax, recharge your batteries, and release stress. Here is what happens during a massage;

  1. You are to undress and put on a short towel
  2. Application of massage oil on your skin 
  3. Massage therapists use a combination of strokes to work on your muscle tissue
  4. Some therapists also use passive stretching, such as moving your arm overhead to mobilize the joint.
  5. Your massage therapist chops your muscles with the side of his hands 

Also, it is important to know that the main techniques of sports massage include stroking, rubbing, kneading, etc. All the muscles in your body have a beginning and an ending. The beginning of every muscle is firmly attached to your bone or tissue; the end is located in the region where it is movable. 

The strategy and rules for performing sports massage prescribe that each muscle must be worked out from end to beginning. 

During and after sports massage, you may experience pain in some areas of your body for days because your body tries to adapt to the new mechanism. It is an everyday experience to be feeling cold, thirsty, and tired because your internal system is breaking down and eliminating all the waste products from your tissue.


In conclusion, a good massage therapist is hard to come by or hire. Therefore, extra precautions must be taken before hiring a good massage therapist. Also, be rest assured that their services are not cheap. 

ALSO SEE: Top-10 Hardest Sports In The World


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