If you’ve ever trained like an athlete, you know that recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Recovery methods like sleep, protein, hot and cold therapy, and massage are often and regularly used by sportspeople to ensure they are giving their bodies the rest needed to train well, recover and prevent injury.
Massages for sports recovery are a key part of this process and have been so for the better part of a half-century — since the 1960s, soviet sports teams had massage therapists travel with them to provide regular and ongoing massages for sports recovery.
We all know the benefits of massage, but what about specifically for sports recovery? In this article, we’ll discuss the specific benefits that massages offer for sports recovery, as well as how massage chairs can be used for sport recovery.
How Does Massage Help with Recovery?
Massages help with sports recovery by addressing specific conditions that occur after long or intense physical activity, with a primary focus on encouraging the healing of damaged muscles and ligaments.
The kneading and pressing motions involved in massage helps to promote better blood circulation in applied areas, resulting in increased oxygenation. With more oxygen, damaged muscles get the ingredients they need to repair themselves, resulting in faster recovery times.
Increased circulation also helps to carry away waste products, such as lactic acid, generated by muscle tissue, reducing feelings of soreness and overall fatigue.
4 Benefits of Massage for Sports Recovery
So, what exactly can you expect after a massage for sports recovery? We’re glad you asked; here are some of the benefits you can look forward to.
1. Faster Muscle Recovery
Without massage treatment, sore or damaged muscles can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or months to heal, depending on the extent of damage. For those who have a career in sports, any time spent recovering is time not out on the field.
Multiple research sources indicate that massages for sports recovery can reduce muscle recovery times, making it ideal for those who want to reduce recovery downtime and get back into their sports training or performance as soon as possible.
2. Reduced Pain from Muscle Tension
Tight muscles can develop because of overstretching or repeated overuse and are extremely common when it comes to sports activities. The tension in these muscles can result in a “pulling” sensation that is often painful.
Some massages for sports recovery, such as remedial massages, are aimed at releasing the level of tension in affected muscles through tissue manipulation. This can help to provide significant pain relief from tightened muscles.
3. Increased Flexibility
Apart from pain, tense muscles can also lock natural movements and reduce flexibility. Not being able to move as usual can be an inconvenience for day-to-day activities, but it’s a huge problem for those who play sports.
Massages are effective in increasing joint and muscle flexibility by releasing the built-up tension in muscle groups, gradually restoring natural movement in the process.
4. Better Mental Focus
Apart from the physiological benefits above, massages have been proven to provide athletes with a significant boost in the ability to focus, especially after or in between periods of intense activity.
Many sports place a heavy mental load on those who take part in them — making your body perform to its physical limits requires immense focus. Massages can help to alleviate the mental fatigue that comes after exerting oneself, resulting in clear thinking and even improved moods.
Will a Massage Chair Help with Sports Recovery?
Massage chair technology has come a long way since its early days, and it can now match the expertise of trained masseuses for various types of massages, including those targeted toward sports recovery.
The latest models of massage chairs are more than capable of helping with sports recovery, with many of them equipped with dedicated modes for sports massages such as remedial massages and myofascial releases.
Relax For Life proudly offers the world’s first & only dedicated sports-specific massage chair - the Positive Posture Brio Sport Massage Chair - The programs and manual settings of this sports massage chair are aimed to enhance blood circulation, promote drainage of lymphatic fluid, improve mobility and assist to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This helps with faster recovery times and the ability to resume your activities sooner.
During exercise, muscles experience micro-tears - this stress triggers them to rebuild stronger for the next workout - our Sports Massage program is designed to help resolve inflammation and sore spots in the muscle tissue and to release and hydrate fascia for quicker recovery.
The powerhouse of your body is your core - a strong & dynamic core improves strength and posture, and is the foundation of all our body's movement - the Brio SPORT massage chair features a unique & unparalleled 'Core Rotation' program that offers a lumbar mobility sequence by stretching & lubricating the large core muscles and joints with gentle twisting and posterior pelvic tilt movements, supporting a strong and dynamic core, never before experienced in any other massage chair.
This amazing massage chair also features another never-before-seen program in the "Glutes & IT" focused session - particularly benefiting those who engage in high-impact and start/stop activities, the roller sequences focus on working the gluteus, sciatic nerve area, hips, hamstrings and the iliotibial (IT) band muscles which can be particularly hard to loosen through manual massage or conventional stretching.
Using a massage chair for sports recovery is a great way to speed up your muscle recovery without needing to travel to or book appointments with a masseuse. Instead, you can use it whenever you need it from the comfort of your own home, whether it’s after a challenging gym session, a long run, or after a footy match.
The best part is that you’ll be able to use the same massage chair for simply relaxing and destressing from your daily activities.
The Best Time to Have a Massage for Sports Recovery
The best results from sports recovery massages are seen when they are applied 1-2 hours after sports activity. These post-workout massages can help to treat and prevent delayed muscle onset soreness where muscles become stiff and painful.
Muscle or joint injury can happen unexpectedly — something as simple as an incorrect body posture can result in sore and swelling muscles afterwards. When this happens, it’s important to apply a sports massage to the affected areas to help mitigate the extent of damage and provide some pain relief. Even if this happens in the middle of the night with a sudden cramp, your at-home massage chair has you covered!
As we’ve mentioned earlier, having a massage chair at home allows you to get a sports massage whenever you need it. If you are looking for the best massage chairs in Australia for sports massages, look no further than Relax for Life. We are Australia’s leading provider of the most advanced massage chairs from globally recognised brands and can deliver them to you in Sydney or Melbourne, or the Gold Coast.