A regular sports massage can ease the pains of a heavy work load on the bike during the winter months
Le Tour De France is here and for those lucky enough to be there for the summer! For the rest of us Winter has well and truly begun, and for the die-hard cyclist out there the morning rides are averaging 5 degrees! For me a sports massage I refer to as the ‘’The Flush” becomes one of the most asked for treatments by my regular cyclists.
Whether they are professional, semi-pro, or a committed warrior of the road day in day out ‘the flush’ provides my riders with a well -earned and often needed opportunity to recover from effects of multiple km’s spent in the seat.
Cycling provides my clients with the freedom to keep fit and healthy while getting out in the environment and socializing with friends and fellow competitors. For their bodies though cycling has potentials to cause pain if they don’t look after themselves. A good sports massage used during the preparation and recovery phases of a cyclist’s program can help stave off injury and contribute to the greater sense of enjoyment felt out on the roads over winter!
Absolute Health & Performance Physiotherapist Kristin Cameron has written a brilliant piece on cycling and the prevention and management lower back pain. Check out the link below.
So what can you expect from a flush/sports massage?
The sports massage treatment plan is very much dependant on a client’s goals and where the massage fits into the Prepare, Compete, and Recover paradigm. For example, I tend to keep the invigorating treatments for the day of a big ride (post event), the slower and longer treatments are usually given a day or two after a longer ride or event for recovery (post event), and a more specific and remedial based sports massage is usually applied in the preparation phase of a cyclist program (maintenance).
Often I will use a combination of techniques such as massage, stretching and joint mobilisation. Again the goal of the treatment and where it fits into a program determines the speed and depth of a massage and the style of stretch and mobilisation technique.
So what are some of the benefits and effects of a sports massage?
Recovery from Soreness – We have all felt Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)! A sports massage increases the body’s level of circulation and lymphatic drainage which helps stave off, or recover quicker from DOMS. The more we move the more by product toxins such as lactic acid are created. Sports Massage helps the body to more efficiently filter these toxins and regenerate fresh oxygenated blood ready to fuel high levels of energy and exercise once more.
Improved Range of Movement and Mechanical Effects– Massage de-loads the stress placed on joints during long periods of over use while returning the muscles back to their resting length. Studies show that power on the bike is enhanced when joints and muscles are working through a greater range of motion. Tissue permeability, decreased muscle tension, reduced swelling, increased flexibility, and a reorganisation of muscle fibres are all considered a major benefit and effect of sports massage.
Psychological Benefits – Sports massage can reduce distress and enhance a sense of well-being by stimulated the release of endorphins that help decrease the levels of stress hormones. The winter months can be tough out there and the training blocks don’t get any easier. Especially if your gearing up for any one of Melbourne’s events. In many ways a regular flush allows my clients an opportunity to psychologically de-load and relay their experience on the table. It gives them a time to ask questions and reflect on the week just been and what needs to happen to better prepare and recover from their rides.
Absolute Health & Performance Soft Tissue Therapist James Meredith has over a decade of experience treating stress states and improving performance through Therapeutic, Deep Tissue and Remedial Therapies. To find out more come in and see us at Absolute. Massage Therapy Melbourne CBD