What’s so good about sports massages?!
If you aim to be a serious cyclist, know that sports massages are an integral part of the athlete’s routine.
- Fast recovery of muscles = no time wasted = more rides
- Injury prevention = no more pain = uninterrupted rides
- Relaxation of the mental state = mood booster = happy ride!
Why do I feel pain after a ride?
Cyclists tend to be in a seated position for an extended duration on the road. This results in muscle adaptation in the midst of the cyclical rhythm that the legs undergo.
Neck aches and leg soreness are common issues cyclists experience after a ride as they have to look up in a seated crouch position, with their thigh muscles being the main propeller during the ride.
Other muscles such as the hamstrings, hip flexors, calf muscles are shortened throughout the ride, resulting in muscle tightness and fatigue.
What is a sports massage and how does it help?
Sports massages comprise of various techniques such as deep tissue, trigger points release, myofascial and muscle energy techniques to soothe the ‘muscle-complex’ out after it has been fatigue from the exercises.
#1 Improve joint range of motion and flexibility
It aids in easing out the knots in the muscles by loosening tight muscles, fascia and trigger points physically.
#2 Help increase blood flow to fatigued muscles
Through better blood circulation, it speeds recovery. This happens through an exchange of nutrients, oxygen to the tired muscle and removal of lactic acid.
With that, you are less likely to suffer an injury from micro-tears, ruptures, and strains – as compared to a fatigued muscle impeded by adhesions and lactic acid.
#3 Puts you in a good mood
Though there is no conclusive evidence of the physiological benefits of massage, sports massages help to boost the psychological mood of an athlete.
Phil Burt, the lead physiotherapist for the Great Britain Cycling Team said:
“Riders do like it, they report benefits and it’s part of their post-race or ride recovery and relaxation routine. It is important not to underestimate these slightly intangible and psychological benefits. They can make a difference to a rider’s attitude and how they perform.”
How often should I go for a Sports Massage?
Pro cyclists usually get their sports massage after a day of racing to get their muscles soothed out, which allows them to be set up for the next training day.
Furthermore, it would best for amateur cyclists to have sports massages once or twice a week or fortnightly.
What to expect
The intensity of the massage varies for every individual as you’d feel varying deep form of pressure and strokes on the tight muscles – which could be sore – but don’t worry too much!
You shouldn’t be guarding against the pain – if the intensity is too overpowering, the therapist should moderate accordingly.
Expect two days of soreness in the muscles after the deep tissue massage.
Subsequently, you will be able to feel the benefits of the massage, allowing ample time for the soreness in the leg to recover and set you up for the weekend ride.