In general, we could differentiate two types of sports massage: the pre-competition massage and the post-competition massage.
As for the pre-competition massage, which is usually done a few minutes before a competition, depending on the sport, its most important effects are:
– The increase of muscular wakefulness.
– The increase of blood circulation.
– The increase of temperature and muscular elasticity.
It is usually applied with fast and energetic movements. In addition, is also achieved an increase of performance and a delay in the onset of fatigue.
Regarding the post-competitive massage, the most important effects are usually:
– The decrease of excess tone and of muscular contractures produced by the effort.
– The reduction of fatigue and a remarkable acceleration of recovery.
– An improvement of the blood and lymphatic circulation.
– An increase of the oxygen supply to the tissues (thus helping their nutrition and the elimination of waste products from the body).
– And a general level relaxation, physical and mental; together with a well-being feeling and a reduction of psychological stress.
As for when is the best time to receive post-exertion massage, it should be taken into account that, just after a competition or a training, especially if it has been demanding, our muscles are excited, sore and even inflamed so that it is NOT advisable to receive it in that situation.
It is always better to first perform an active recovery, and, after a few hours, the muscular discharge massage.
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