Sports Massage techniques

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Massage is a set of methods of dosed mechanical action on the surface of the human body with hands or special apparatus. The methods of this action include friction, pressure, vibration, stroking, patting, etc. Massage is divided into general and local. Massage has clear independent directions: sports, hygiene, cosmetic, medical.

In sport, massage is used to prepare an athlete for competitions to improve performance, relieve fatigue (when recovering), eliminate hypoxia; As an aid in excretion of metabolites; To improve microcirculation, the work of internal organs; Prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Sports Massage[edit]

"A sport massage is understood as a combination of massage techniques that contribute to the physical improvement of the athlete, aimed at combating fatigue, improving athletic performance, and finally used as a remedy for various sports injuries." The masseur participates in the process of preparing an athlete for not always comfortable conditions for training and competitions, prepares and "tunes" the tissues (skin, muscles, ligaments) to resist overloads and obtain the maximum sporting result.

The tasks of sports massage:

  • Normalization of microcirculation and blood flow in muscles;
  • Elimination of increased muscle tone;
  • Normalization of metabolism;
  • Activation of the functional state of spinal motoneurons;
  • Stimulation of all parts of the neuromuscular system;
  • Normalization of cutaneous temperature at symmetrical biologically active points.

Especially careful should be massage during training (competitions) under adverse climatic conditions.

The choice of the means with which the masseur carries out his manipulations depends on the purpose and the task set by the training process or the conditions of the competition. It must be remembered that holding a massage before the start leads to an increase in skin temperature by 1.4-2.1 ° C, and with the use of warming ointments, the temperature of the skin and muscles rises to a large extent.

Massage is also used as a treatment for traumatic injuries. In case of muscular disturbances caused by violation of statics and / or mechanics of the spinal column or one of its departments, massage therapies can not practically be replaced.

The duration of the massage depends on the sport, the individual characteristics of the athlete, the indices of muscle excitability, etc.

The phenomenon of addiction to massage, i.e. Reduction or even cessation of the effect of its use is well known.

The dosage of the massage should be individual.

Types of sports massage:

  • prophylactic;
  • activating, mobilization;
  • regenerative.

Prophylactic massage[edit]

It is used for primary prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Analysis of the peculiarities of the occurrence of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system in athletes shows that the spine, joints of the limbs, and bones are most often subjected to changes.

Large physical exertions performed by an athlete many times over many years lead to pathological changes in the tissues of the musculoskeletal system.

Prerequisites for their occurrence are violations of blood microcirculation, metabolism, hypoxemia and tissue hypoxia, increased muscle tone, etc.

In addition, training conducted on hard ground, early resumption of training after the infectious diseases, forced training for young athletes, etc. - all this leads to the emergence of injuries, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, i.e. Becomes a factor that limits the athletic result.

The procedure of preventive massage consists of the preparatory, basic and final parts.

The sequence of the prophylactic massage: the back (especially the paravertebral zones), the joints, the place of attaching the tendons to the bones. Then carefully (deeply) massaged muscles, which accounted for the greatest (basic) physical load. Massage can be carried out with therapeutic pharmacological agents (ointments, oils) followed by additional rubbing them into maximally heated muscles and joints.

Prophylactic massage includes methods of general classical massage (preparatory and final stages) and segmental-reflex massage, as well as massage with warming ointments, stretching exercises and relaxation massage. If the muscle tone is increased, then first with the help of massage and warming ointments eliminate, and only then do stretch exercises for muscles.

The use of preventive massage leads to a sharp decrease in the occurrence of injuries and exacerbations of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The greatest effect is observed when applying massage with warming ointments (you need to change often due to the development of addiction).

Particular attention to preventive massage should be given during training on PFD, in the preparatory period, as well as after the suffered injuries or diseases of the musculoskeletal system, when the athlete resumes training.

Activating, mobilizing massage[edit]

This kind of massage is performed before training, competition.

Massage purposes: mobilization (normalization) of the psychoemotional state of the athlete; Preparation (warming up) of the neuromuscular apparatus for the forthcoming work; Acceleration of the athlete's fitness; Prevention of injuries and diseases of motor structures. When carrying out a massage it is necessary to take into account the athlete's well-being, the temperature of the environment, and also the intensity and duration of the forthcoming training or competition.

Under the influence of massage improves local and general blood circulation, stimulates metabolism, activates physiological processes in muscles, increases the elasticity of muscle fibers. Massage prevents the appearance of pathological changes in the muscles, alters the excitability of peripheral nerves.

Activating massage accelerates the process of working ability, relieves excitement or apathy, raises the temperature of the skin, muscles and thereby increases their contractility, improves tone and mobility in the joints, preventing injuries when overloading during competitions. Massage increases the ability of muscles, ligaments and other structures of the locomotor apparatus to stretch, which is important for carrying out active and passive exercises.

In the massage technique, the predominance of these or other techniques also depends on the athlete's functional condition, his age, gender and individual characteristics, and the response to the massage procedure. Massive those parts of the body that will carry the greatest load. After that, they affect the biologically active and motor points.

Duration of massage is 5-15 minutes. Massage is carried out 30-45 minutes before training (competition). In winter, the massage should end for 15-20 minutes before the warm-up of the athlete.

The predominance of this or that massage depends on the problem being solved: with prelaunch apathy, kneading, shaking, vibration predominates, and with prelaunch fever, stroking and rubbing.

When performing a massage, meteorological conditions must be taken into account. In cold, windy weather, it is necessary to use the methods of grinding and kneading in combination with warming ointments, and in a hot, humid climate, mostly use stroking, patting, tapping, shaking and shallow kneading in combination with cooling ointments.

In water sports, massage is best done with oils or liniments, as they reduce heat transfer and reduce the cooling of the athlete.

Restorative massage[edit]

Massage purposes: normalization of blood and lymph flow, muscle tone, relieve fatigue from "working", auxiliary muscles, antagonist muscles, accelerate the excretion of metabolic products after a significant training or competitive load.

Restorative, reparative massage is carried out in 0,5-4 h after the competition or training. The higher the degree of fatigue, the more delayed should be the massage. Massage is usually, as a rule, common and less often local for 15-35 minutes. Duration also depends on the degree of fatigue and functional state. If the athlete is very tired, a short, gentle massage (back, head, neck) is performed. Deeper massage is carried out the next day.

The frequency of application of this type of sports massage in a weekly cycle of training depends on the stage of preparation, the functional state and degree of athlete fatigue, the season, climatic conditions.

Addiction occurs after 10-15 procedures of restorative massage. In this regard, it is necessary to change the methods, their intensity and duration. Daily use of a prolonged massage leads to a more rapid addiction.

During the massage, external agents may be used as an auxiliary.

With a sports massage, the use of local pharmacological agents is aimed at warming up the skin, muscles; Improving microcirculation, reducing edema, reducing tissue irritation, stimulating tissue regeneration, anesthesia, and treatment.

Use potent ointments should be very careful.

Before applying ointments such as nicoflex, finalgon, apizartron, you should check the skin's response. For this, a small amount of ointment is applied to a limited area of the skin. If the ointment does not irritate the skin (tolerated tolerated), it can be used for massage. To avoid severe burning after applying the final, nicoflex and similar means, it is not recommended to use hot showers or any other thermal procedures. Finalgon and dolpic form on the skin a film that interferes with the therapeutic effect of subsequent sessions. Therefore, before the next application of the ointment, it is necessary to wash this area first with cold water with soap, then hot.

The main objectives of the use of additional funds for massage - rapid recovery of the functions of the musculoskeletal system, restoration of microcirculation, the functions of internal organs.

A significant physical load always provokes damage to the capillaries. The swelling and pain arising during exercise testify to an increase in the permeability of the walls of the capillaries, hypoxia of the tissues. At the same time local (regional) blood circulation is disturbed, metabolism in tissues, and their recovery is sharply slowed down.

The dynamics of biochemical processes is such that if the athlete continues to actively train, not completely eliminating metabolic disturbances in the affected tissue, then for a short time, "microtraumatic disease" arises at the site of overload, and then injuries of the musculoskeletal system are possible.

In this case, only analgesic and anti-inflammatory ointments are used, i.e. Those drugs that contain analgesics, heparin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, plant extracts that have the same properties. Irritant and warming ointments are contraindicated in acute trauma.

It is possible to use several dosage forms with different active substances together in order to expand their spectrum of action and enhance the therapeutic effect, but the active ingredients should not compete with each other.

At the first application it is best to apply ointments in the evening, before going to bed. The next day (if the first session is well tolerated), the same amount of ointment is rubbed already three times - in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. On the third day - in the morning and in the evening, increasing the amount of ointment. If the sore spot is too sensitive, the ointment can be applied and massaged higher or lower. In this case, the medicinal components contained in the ointments will be delivered to a painful place with lymph or blood.

Hygienic massage[edit]

Hygienic massage, or rather self-massage, is used as a means of improving overall performance. It is best to spend it in the morning with a warm-up, while taking a bath, shower, in a sauna or a bath.

Training massage[edit]

Training massage is conducted at all training stages. It must be done by a specialist. Features of this type depend on the training and the nature of the load, the duration of the session - on the weight of the athlete's body. The main purpose of the training massage is to achieve the task (increase of working weight, a set of muscle mass, fat burning) in a shorter time, with less mental and physical expenses. To improve the tone of the body before training or competitions, you can warm up or self-massage. This normalizes the work of some body systems and the general condition. It is necessary to take into account the specificity of the training and the exercises to be performed.

Training massage can be used not only after training for faster recovery, but also to improve performance after unsportsmanlike loads.

During rest between sets you can spend a short restorative massage, self-massage. This will help to remove possible pain, tension in the working muscles and prepare them for a faster recovery.

According to the scheme below, you can massage between workouts and on days off.

For 5-10 minutes, muscles are massaged, which carried the load in previous training sessions. The next 10-20 minutes are massaged and these muscles, and those that are located lower and higher. Massage, spent on rest days, helps to normalize sleep, relieve muscle tension, reduce post-exercise muscle pain and shorten recovery time. Massage and self-massage are also used as a means of recovery after various injuries, for example bruises and sprains.

Self-massage technique[edit]

For self-massage, you must follow certain rules:

  • All massage movements during the flow of lymph to the nearest lymph nodes (lymph moves in the direction from the organs to the heart, i.e. from the periphery to the center);
  • Hands massaged to the ulnar and axillary nodes, legs to the popliteal and inguinal;
  • The chest is massaged in front and in the direction from the middle to the axillary hollows;
  • Massage movements on the neck from top to bottom;
  • The waist and sacrum should be massaged towards the groin;
  • Lymph nodes should not be massaged;
  • During the massage, try to relax the massaged muscles as much as possible;
  • The skin of the hands and the area to be massaged must be clean. Through clothes you can do self-massage during training.

Recently, not only in the sports environment, but also in the home often used a variety of massage machines. With all the ease of use and considerable efficiency, they can not compete with a good specialist. The masseur communicates with the patient and takes into account his physical condition. The work of the massage chair, bed or other mechanism is based on averaged anthropometry and anatomy.


With all the benefits, effectiveness and accessibility of the massage, there are some contraindications: fever, bleeding, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, mental illness, skin diseases, etc.

Therefore, before using the massage, you should consult a specialist.

Massage for weight loss[edit]

A 2011 Rahimi study showed that massage of the body fat zones can accelerate fat burning.

In this study, an experiment was performed on 16 healthy men aged 20-27 years. Massage of problem areas was conducted 5 days a week for 15-20 minutes. As a result, a statistically significant decrease in the body fat percentage was obtained, compared to the control group that did not undergo a massage. For 30 days of the experiment, the size of the fat folds decreased by an average of 2%. Scientists suggest that this effect is associated with a local increase in blood flow and metabolism.

To achieve maximum effect, it is recommended to knead problem areas of subcutaneous fat, especially in the morning, as well as before and after training.

Other means and methods of restoration[edit]

In addition to the already mentioned means of recovery and increase of efficiency in power fitness, various pharmacological preparations are widely used. These are vitamin-mineral complexes, tonic drugs and Adaptogens.

The spectrum of recovery products is not limited to ointments and tablets. It is necessary to make changes in the training itself. After the acute period passes and it's time to start training again, you should significantly reduce the working weight. Carrying out an exercise in which the injured part of the body is involved, one must be especially careful.

During recovery from stretching and tearing, an effective training tool will be a rubber expander or a simple medical tourniquet.

The effectiveness of this device is that the rubber in its dynamic performance is very close to the dynamics of most muscles. Working with expanders allows you to more accurately dose the load at different stages of movement and helps to avoid scarring in places of ruptures.

Having basic knowledge and a little imagination, everyone will be able to choose a set of exercises aimed at restoring the damaged site.

The rubber expander can be used to train any muscle individually and in group exercises. Training with an expander or a rubber harness allows to improve the speed indicators.

For a more complete picture of recovery, it is desirable to include stretching exercises in the rehabilitation process.