Whether you’re a serious weight lifter or you enjoy incorporating weight training into your regular fitness routine, massage therapy is a great accompaniment. Here are the top five benefits…
1. Reduces pain and prevents injuries
One of the top benefits of massage is its ability to alleviate muscular pain that is often caused by overwork or injury. For professional weight lifters, chronic or acute pain is very problematic as it can prevent the lifter from reaching maximum poundages. Massage can manipulate and work muscles to help reduce pain and prevent muscle spasms. As well as helping to heal injuries, regular massage sessions can also prevent the need for surgical repair. As weight lifting is a type of strength training, it will have an impact on your joints and tendons, and in turn can cause some inflammation. Massage is very effective at reducing the swelling and pain caused by inflamed tissue.
2. Increases flexibility
Flexibility is key for weightlifters to achieve their optimum performance and massage is great at improving muscle pliability. Intense weight training sessions can lead to tight and tense muscles which increase your chance of injury. Massage – especially deep tissue massage – will stretch out muscle fibres, release ‘stuck’ fascia and break up scar tissue, increasing and maintaining your overall flexibility and range of motion. Plus, when your muscles are able to move better, you can increase your muscle mass faster.
3. Improves circulation
Regular massage therapy improves circulation which has a myriad of benefits for those who frequently weight train. Better circulation will help tissue heal faster after an intense lifting session which can cause microscopic damage to muscles and fascia without you realising. Due to the increased blood flow to the area, you’ll be able to get back to training faster, as well as breathe easier and move more smoothly when lifting. The recovery phase after training is essential for improving and building strength and if your muscles are too tight this will restrict the flow of nutrients in your blood to your muscles and ultimately hinder your progress. Massage can help with all of this!
4. Promotes better sleep patterns
Good quality sleep is extremely important for weight trainers as it’s a big part of the recovery process. Massage is well-known for its ability to improve our quality and quantity of sleep. By solely focusing on relaxation during a massage session, you’ll reduce your muscle tension, lower your blood pressure and increase your levels of serotonin – all of which combine to help you sleep deeper and for longer. Plus, you’ll also be able to sleep better when you’re not feeling overly sore and stiff!
5. Stress relief for your body and mind
Massage is very effective at reducing stress which can get the better of any weightlifter, whether you regularly compete in competitions or just strive to improve your performance. Regular massages will help you take the time out to relax both your body and mind, and ultimately help improve your focus in weight training.
Post-weight training tip
Ideally, you should receive a massage 6-12 hours after your weight training session, however you can still reap the benefits 12-24 hours after your workout. Massage can have such a positive impact on your training regime so we recommend at least one session a week.