Massage therapy provides many benefits to those who strength train. It does not matter if you are a professional athlete or simply someone who likes to look and actually be strong, getting massages on a regular basis will help your body recover from your workouts and, therefore, repair its muscles so that it comes back stronger.
Improves Your Post-Workout Circulation
Strength training damages muscles. Massage helps them repair themselves by getting oxygenated blood into the muscles. Generally speaking, the more oxygen you are able to get to your muscles, the faster they will recover.
The flip side to massage helping fresh blood get into the muscles is massage getting the used blood out of the muscles. This flowing of blood to and from the muscles helps remove the toxins, such as lactic acid, that your workout produces from your muscles.
First off, I have got to admit that a deep tissue massage can hurt. It can hurt a lot. However, since the massage does help the body repair and clean toxins from itself it limits the soreness you will feel after trying workouts.
In fact, a study by Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a researcher at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, found that “massage therapy reduced exercise-related inflammation… and also seemed to help cells recover by boosting amounts of another protein called PGC-1alpha, which spurs production of new mitochondria — tiny organelles inside cells that are crucial for muscle energy generation and adaptation to endurance exercise.”
Ways to Get Massages
Of course the easiest way to get an effective massage is to find yourself a qualified sports massage therapist. The downside to going this route is that it costs quite a bit if you keep at it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available such as foam rollers, foot wheels, and beastie balls and beastie hooks that anyone can use to give themselves effective, deep tissue massages. The neat thing about going DIY is that you can target specific areas and not need to do full 60-minutes sessions.