Sports Massage Benefits Explained

here are numerous positive impacts of sports massage for athletes. Sports massage can be applied prior to exercise, after exercise, during exercise, or during recovery. It is a well-liked option among both professional athletes and recreational exercisers. Learn more about its applications and the advantages that scientific evidence supports.We have the solutions for you, whether you’re new to sports massage or searching for the best massage facility for a sports massage in Singapore. Let’s begin by defining a sports massage and discussing the potential benefits.

What Is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a deliberate body manipulation that targets the muscles necessary for a certain sport. The “Flying Finn,” a runner by the name of Paavo Nurmi, was one of the first people to employ sports massage. According to legend, Nurmi utilized sports massage at the Paris Olympics in 1924, where he won five gold medals. According to popular belief, Jack Meagher invented sports massage in the United States.A methodical approach to massaging the body’s soft tissues to ease pain, stiffness, and tightness in the muscles is known as sports massage treatment. Its goals are to:

  1. Keep you in optimal condition
  2. Address injuries and joint pain from your usual physical routines
  3. Improve range of motion and flexibility

A sports massage combines deep, sustained pressure and varied strokes for muscle release. Sometimes, your sports therapist may also include other techniques like pressure point or joint mobilization to aid your recovery.

Many different movements and techniques are used in sports massage. Examples of these techniques include; effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), compression, friction, tapotement (rhythmic striking), vibration, gliding, stretching, percussion, and trigger points. These movements and techniques are used to try to help the athlete’s body achieve maximum performance and physical conditioning with a decreased chance of injury or pain and a quicker recovery.

What is the difference between a Sports Massage and a normal massage?

Sports massages typically do not contain candles or aromatherapy, in contrast to regular massages. With a full understanding of the musculoskeletal, myofascial, and lymphatic systems, a sports massage focuses on releasing muscle tension.Also, they could concentrate on other bodily parts. A sports massage primarily focuses on the areas that are most prone to tension or injury. That might be your shoulders, arms, or legs, depending on the type of physical activity you engage in. A regular massage will probably provide you a full-body treatment.Although both types of massages encourage peace and relaxation, a sports massage is far more focused on functional advantages like loosening up and healing.

Other types of massages include Deep-tissue massages and Tuina. Deep-tissue massage is focused on chronic muscle pain caused by unhealthy or stressful living, and Tuina is targeted at promoting better blood circulation and removing energy blockages in your body.

Sports Massage Benefits

Many benefits from sports massage have been reported based on experience and observation. Some are beneficial to the mind (psychological) and some to the body (physiological).Some of the reported benefits of sports massage include:

  • Increased joint range of motion (ROM)
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Decreased neurological excitability (nerves more relaxed)
  • Decreased muscle spasms
  • Better sleep

Purported benefits that are not supported by research include:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Increased elimination of exercise waste products (lactic acid)
  • Decreased chance of injury
  • Decreased recovery time between workouts

Is Sports Massage only for athletes?

Sports massage therapy, despite its name, is not just for athletes. Sports massage may enhance muscle and tendon repair and assist prevent injuries. Those who have soreness, tight muscles, persistent pain, or restricted motion can also benefit greatly from it.

Should I get a Sports Massage?

You might wonder if you require a sports massage now that you are aware of what it is. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you will probably get something from one of them.

Do you have tight muscles and soreness?

Do you feel any pain from a physical activity? E.g. a tender knee from running

Do you have a limited range of movement and want to increase your flexibility?

Are you trying to improve your athletic performance or stay in optimal physical condition?

Do you want to hasten the healing and recovery process after an intense physical activity? E.g. a marathon race

Do you regularly engage in physical activities and want to reduce the likelihood of injury?

Side Effects

Possible side effects of sports massage are tenderness or stiffness for 1 to 2 days after the sports massage. A skin reaction due to the massage oils is also possible. But for the most part, sports massage is safe.

What the Research Says

Research studies regarding perceived fatigue and recovery showed that subjects felt they were less weary and felt like they recovered quicker after sports massage. Reduced anxiety, improved mood, deeper sleep, and enhanced feelings of well-being were also noted. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is reduced by sports massage, according to a wide variety of studies.Now for some benefits that are not supported by research. The ability of sports massage to help the muscles get rid of lactic acid is not supported in research studies. Many researchers feel this is linked to the fact that sports massage does not increase blood flow to muscles. For example, a 2010 study found that blood flow was actually mechanically impeded by massage and that was a possible reason that lactic acid removal was impaired. A quicker recovery after sports massage is not yet supported by the research. Studies do support that active recovery (low-intensity exercise after work-out) is the best method of decreasing the amount of lactic acid that builds up after exercise and speeds recovery.So what does all of this mean? It seems that the positive mind (psychological) benefits of sports massage are indeed supported by research studies. Study findings also support that sports massage does not negatively affect performance, but the positive body (physiological) benefits on performance are not quite as clear. More research is needed on the positive body effects and also on the mind/body interaction after sports massage.

How often should I get a Sports Massage?

The recommended frequency may range from once a week to once or twice a month, depending on your lifestyle and the reasons you need a sports massage. Even though you will undoubtedly notice a difference right away after each session, you shouldn’t begin to see noticeable benefits until after a few sessions.

How do I choose a good Sports Massage Therapist?

Most often, when someone claims that a sports massage does not work for them, it is because they did not conduct their research before selecting a reputable sports massage therapist. You require a qualified massage therapist who can assess your condition and tailor the remedies and methods you require. As a result, at RAW, each customized massage therapy session starts with a free consultation with a massage therapist on staff who can create the best treatment strategy. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting your sports massage therapist:

  • They evaluate your current physical condition and ask about your goals
  • Don’t use a cookie cutter approach with your sports massage
  • Certified and trained in sports massage (or physiotherapy with added qualifications in sports massage) – and not generic massage therapists
  • Transparent with their pricing and packages (a bonus if they have a first-time discount so you can try it out before you commit)Positive reviews from customers online 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy is a type of massage with the specific goal to strengthen the mobility and function of muscles and joints. It is part of a physical therapy treatment plan performed by a trained physical therapist.


Are there different types of sports massage?

Yes, different types of sports massage can focus on the muscles most relevant to a particular sport. Examples of this include effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic striking), vibration, stretching, compression, trigger points, and more.

Are massages good for you?

Whether a massage is “good” for you will depend on your personal experience and enjoyment, but there are virtually zero risks to it besides having an allergy to massage oils. For many people, a general massage can improve their overall and physical well-being.1 A sports massage can help an athlete prepare for or recover from an activity and improve performance.


Our sport massage therapist allows you to feel and move better and is flexible to fit into your busy schedule. Feel free to contact us for details.

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