Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario) conducted a study aimed at studying the effect of massage on muscles. After a set of physical exercises for the legs, participants were given a 10-minute massage, but only on one of the quadriceps. The results of a muscle biopsy accurately revealed which foot the massage therapist worked with. Regardless of the experiments of scientists, observant athletes immediately noted the effect of massage: the area of injury did not become so painful, and the general physical condition improved.
Importance of muscle massage
“The individual characteristics of your gait and physiology, manifested by running, can cause injuries,” says Colorado Rapids massage therapist David. (David Abookire – chief massage therapist at the American football club Colorado Rapids) In his opinion, massage is both treatment and prevention of a wide range of diseases common among athletes: from inflammation of the periosteum or Achilles tendon to back pain. David emphasizes that regular professional massage gives the most visible effect, but independent massage is important for maintaining a stable state of health. “I can cure you, but if you do not pay due attention to prevention, problems will appear again,” he explains.
Although for various reasons, a professional massage may not always be available to the athlete, David still recommends having it once a week or twice a month for a four to the six-week block of peak workouts. But, as in the case of stretching, it is necessary to allocate time for regular self-massage – five to six days a week.
Massage Tools You Can use
Theragun is a therapy device that you can use to massage your muscles deeply or to get rid of the post-workout muscle fatigue. It is a great way to help soothe your muscles after it has been in stress.
Golf or tennis ball: effective for plantar fascia
Place your foot on top of the ball and make a few circular motions in the heel area. Then increase the radius, paying attention to the front and middle parts of the foot. To begin with, you can perform the exercise while sitting so as not to overdo it with pressure on the foot.
Foam massage roller: effective for quadriceps, hamstrings, or tibial tract
Lying on the right side, place a foam roller under you perpendicular to the body at the bottom of the thigh and lean on the floor with your right hand. Slowly roll the roller down in the direction of the knee, then return to the hip. Repeat for the left foot. Similar exercises started from a sitting position will work out your hamstrings and the back of your thigh. For quadriceps, you need to start from the starting position lying on your stomach.
Stick: effective for calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps
A stick differs from a foam roller in that when working with it you use the force exerted by your body (rather than the weight, as in the case with the roller). It is more convenient for massaging the calf muscles.
Lacrosse Ball: Relaxes the back muscles
Lying on your back on a hard surface, place the ball under the lower back. Make circular movements, gradually moving the ball over the entire surface of the back, and linear movements along the spine. Complete the exercise with a massage of the trapezius muscles in the upper back. If the lacrosse ball seems too hard, you can start with a tennis ball.
Back massager: stimulation aid for the back of the body
A back massager is an aid for stimulating the upper back of the body. It is mainly used for self-massage and can massage the hard-to-reach back with various stimuli.
Back massagers can work electrically or manually. Electric models, in particular, offer stimulations such as kneading massage or vibration.
For back discomfort or feeling cold can back massagers are used.
Preventive deep muscle massage
Preventive massage, first of all, accelerates the recovery process after physical exertion. If you neglect for a long time, even minor pain caused by uneven muscle tension, the risk of injury increases. Together with it, the effectiveness of training decreases. Thanks to massage, areas with excessive tension are restored, they cease to limit the athlete’s movements, thereby preventing them from receiving secondary injuries. For example, the state of the thigh muscles directly affects the amplitude of movement of the hip joint and, as a result, the quality of the running technique as a whole. Preventive massage can be done independently at home. The standard set of tools for such a massage is a foam roller, a stick, a golf ball (42.7 mm), and a lacrosse ball (62.8-64.8 mm). In the beginning, each area can be given about a minute. Then increase the duration and intensity in problem areas or as your body adapts.
Definition and delimitation
Aback-massage device is a tool for the massage of the upper body rear side. This can usually not be stimulated independently because it is difficult to reach. Special massagers for the back, however, allow treatment without outside help.
Back massagers are to be differentiated from small and handy massagers, with which the back is difficult to reach in self-massage. These include massage stones or massage rollers.
A distinction must also be made between electric massage mats or chairs, which can be used for a back massage as part of a full-body massage. This makes them more versatile than a sole back massager.
Shapes and designs
Back massagers can work on the back of the body in a variety of ways. In principle, the electrical models are to be distinguished from the simple models by self-service.
Electric massagers for the back can be handy models with a long handle, massage seats or pads that are attached to chairs or massage chairs. Depending on the version, functions such as vibration, shiatsu or kneading massage are possible.
Electric back massagers can also be offered in combination with foot massagers. These are models that can stimulate the soles of the feet through various stimuli. The user can also lie on the device with his back and use the same stimulations.
The non-electric back massagers include, for example, massage straps with two handles, which are moved with the hands in pulling movements over the back of the body. These straps can consist of movable massage rollers, rounded nubs or a rough peeling surface.
Use of back massagers
Back massagers are mainly used for self-massage. Handy models are also suitable for partner massage. They mainly serve to stimulate the back, shoulders, neck and sometimes also the buttocks. Many models can be used dressed.
A back massage using such a device can be carried out for back pain, tension or the feeling of cold and rigid muscles. Back massagers are used especially in the wellness area and are a quick and convenient alternative to massages in a massage studio.
These massage tools will help you deeply massage your muscles as a preventive as well as a recovery measure. Make sure you learn how to use each tool before you use it.