5 Ways Massage Will Improve Your Workout Routine
It’s no coincidence that many athletes, from professional to casual, get regular massages as part of their fitness program. Not only does massage feel great, massage (including Swedish, deep tissue, and sports massage) has been proven to boost athletic performance. Here’s how:
- Improves Flexibility and Strength. Massage helps to improve your body’s range of motion by stretching out muscles. A hand and forearm massage prior to a workout can even improve grip strength (especially nice if you’re a weight lifter).
- Reduces Muscle Stiffness. Massage loosens muscles, relieving tension and hypertonicity (a condition in which too much muscle tone causes muscle stiffness and limited movement). “Massage relaxes muscles spasms and release "knots" which lead to increased circulation, muscular imbalance and skeletal alignment, so you can move better,” says Zeel Massage Therapist Threnur Holman.
- Prevents Future Injuries. Massage is fantastic for improving circulation. Among other benefits (like making your skin look lovely!), improved blood flow reduces the risk of muscle strain (because muscles are nourished appropriately by blood) and potential subsequent injuries.
- Expedites Post-Workout Recovery. Massage decreases muscle stiffness, swelling, and most importantly, soreness. A massage after your next intense workout (the one you know you’ll feel the next day) can ensure that you sail through the day ache-free.
- Promotes Relaxation. Exercise is a relaxation technique in itself, but finishing a workout with a massage eases the body into a resting state, much like a cool-down jog or stretch would. Massage keeps blood flowing and decreases soreness. This is much more effective than, say, collapsing onto your couch as soon as you walk in the door.
Take your exercise to its full potential by treating yourself to a pre or post-workout massage. Your body will thank you.