Some things are universally understood when it comes to health and fitness. We all know that we should wear appropriate fitness gear, we all understand the importance of warming up before exercising and most of us appreciate that the way we fuel our bodies can help to maximise our performance and recovery. But how many of us incorporate sports massage into our everyday fitness routines?
It’s time to take a closer look at sports massage, explore the benefits unlocked — especially as you get older — and dispel the myth that it’s only for elite-level athletes.
1. It offers a series of health and fitness benefits
Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity. With its focus on specific body parts, sports massage is a great way to:
- Increase muscle blood flow
- Increase lymph flow and the removal of toxins from the muscles
- Break down adhesions and scar tissue, which build up over time and cause tension
- Relieve muscular pain
- Achieve a positive sense of well-being and lower stress
- Improve sleep patterns
- Raise muscle temperature (pre-workout)
2. Sports massage is different from regular massage
The classic form of massage, Swedish massage, uses sweeping strokes to release tension and promote relaxation all over the body. In contrast, a sports massage mainly focuses on the areas most vulnerable to injury or stress. Runners and cyclists, for instance, may need work on their legs, whereas tennis players may benefit from a shoulder and arm focus.
So, unlike conventional massages, sports massages can be targeted to treat minor and chronic injuries. To do so, sports massage therapists use a diverse range of techniques to realign and loosen muscle fibres in individuals who experience movement-related tension. It’s a highly skilled profession, which is why sports massage at David Lloyd Clubs is delivered by our Personal Trainers and team members who hold a Level 3 sports massage qualification.
3. Sports massages are for everyone!
There’s a misconception that sports massage is only for elite sportspeople. In reality, it’s beneficial for anyone who leads an active lifestyle, from competitive runners to casual cyclists, amateur tennis players and everyone in-between. Very simply, if you want to move more and be less sore, sports massage is a great tool to improve your range of motion, decrease muscle tension and prevent injury.
Treatments can also help to relieve many day-to-day problems, such as repetitive strain injury (RSI), sprains and work-related tension. If you’ve ever sat at a desk for eight hours and then felt fatigued and inflexible at the gym afterwards, you might be a prime candidate for a targeted sports massage.
Maintaining mobility and flexibility becomes even more important as you get older. Fortunately, sports massage can help to mitigate the effects of ageing, like reduced muscle mass and longer recovery times.
Whether you’re training for a race, working up a sweat by gardening or simply want some relief from the prolonged tension of a desk job, sports massage can help lower the risk of injury and keep your body feeling great at any age.
4. It’s easy
With a David Lloyd Clubs membership, you don’t have to make a separate trip or carve out time for a sports massage — it all happens under one roof. All you have to do is complete a pre-assessment before your first session then book a sports massage via the app in the same way you would book a personal training session.
Sports massage at David Lloyd Clubs is delivered in an enclosed environment close to the gym floor for maximum convenience. Each massage lasts 30 minutes.
Let’s get started
Sports massage is available at selected David Lloyd Clubs. Find your local club to get started.