AW promotion

Whether you’re an athlete or simply enjoy sports as a hobby, massage therapy is a great way to help reach your goals. If the likes of Mo Farah, Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis-Hill all swear by massage to maximise their potential, then why not take their lead?

There are so many different types of massage that can help you prepare and recover – nope, sports massage isn’t the only option out there! Read on to find out which to go for and how the Urban app can bring the massage to you at home. 

Why not put it to the test yourself with 10% off your first treatment? Use code ATHLETICSWEEKLY until 31st May 2024 to give it a try.

For weightlifting and heavy training, a deep tissue massage can ease DOMS and muscle tension

If your training routine revolves heavily around weights, you might notice stiff, sore muscles a couple of days after your session. Heavy lifting and repetitive movement can also lead to tight trigger points, known as knots, which are painful to touch but massage is brilliant at releasing them.

In a deep tissue massage with Urban, your therapist will use trigger point therapy to untangle these tight spots to ease your muscles. It uses stronger pressure than other types of massage to work deeper into the muscle and improve your movement. 

This is great for sports recovery and getting into a good schedule will help fight any soreness before it arrives, so you don’t have to miss out on future gym sessions. A good therapist will make this a relaxing experience, too – you shouldn’t be wincing through it.

How deep tissue massage helps with sport performance:

  • Quicker recovery, so you won’t be missing any training sessions
  • Frees up movement, so you can make the most of your training
  • Works out knots and tension, to get you back to your best
  • Targets specific areas of concern, to avoid further injury

Read more: How to reduce DOMS

For runners, cyclists and regular gym-goers, get a massage that includes stretching

If you hit the gym several times a week or you’re an avid runner or cyclist, stretching should be the jam to your scone. If not, or if you’d like to elevate your stretching routine, we highly recommend booking a Thai yoga massage – it’s the perfect combination of a relaxing massage and a deep stretch, guided by a professional, all in the comfort of your living room. 

During a traditional Thai yoga massage, your therapist will target acupressure points using their thumbs, elbows, forearms and feet, as well as helping you through guided stretches. Regular stretching keeps your muscles supple and helps improve your range of motion – a necessity for sports that put a lot of strain on your legs. 

Or try a sports massage for targeted treatment

A sports massage is a firm favourite for most athletes as it can be tailored to your specific needs. Your therapist will assess your posture to spot imbalances, find trigger points and check which muscles are over or underused. 

A well-trained sports massage therapist can act as the extra ingredient you need to smash that personal best or finish a season without injuries. They’ll treat your specific issues and offer advice on stretching and recovery techniques to use in between sessions.

Sports massage is great for:

  • Easing post-exercise aches
  • Preventing injury (book your pre-event massage no later than 72 hours before to give your muscles time to recover)
  • Shin splints
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Knee pain
  • Trapped nerves
  • Easing delayed onset muscle soreness

On your feet a lot? Compression therapy can help recharge tired legs

We’re looking at you footballers, runners, cyclists, cricket players. If you use your legs a lot, compression therapy is great for recovery after a big event. It’s a non-invasive way to improve circulation after intense exercise and it also helps to reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery after an injury. 

It works by delivering compressed air to your limbs – you’ll notice a wave-like pressure that moves up and down. So if you notice sore legs after an event and want to get back to doing what you love fast, compression therapy is one to try. 

For golf, cricket or tennis players, sports massage or osteopathy can balance out the negative effects of asymmetrical sports

With asymmetrical sports like golf, tennis and cricket, it’s normal for one side of the body to be used more than the other. But this can lead to specific muscles being overused and causing extra strain, leading to an imbalance.

A sports massage or osteopathy session will use muscle energy techniques (METs) to help stretch these overused muscles to balance out the effects. That includes things like myofascial release, soft tissue release and positional release techniques – your therapist will use these to target overworked muscles while training the other side of your body to help avoid injuries.

It will require a bit of participation from you, but your pro will guide you through the process. Feel free to ask your therapist to talk you through the techniques to understand more about how they work their magic.

Give your body the time to recover with a relaxing massage

No matter your sport, giving your body time to recover is crucial. Without a good rest, muscles will become strained and you’ll be much more prone to injury – but we know it isn’t always easy to slow down.

Make it a non-negotiable and block out dedicated time to rest with a relaxing massage. Choose between 60, 90 or 120 minutes to allow your mind and body to switch off – it’ll help your body enter the relax and restore state. This is when your parasympathetic nervous system becomes activated and your body focuses on digesting and repairing to help you recover. 

With the use of light pressure, gentle techniques and slow, flowing strokes, it’s ideal for the person always on the go, without much time for themselves. After a massage like this you’ll feel brand new – meaning you’ll feel ready to give it your all at your next event.