GETTING A GREAT SELF-MASSAGE

How to speed recovery

Self-massage is essential to recovery, regardless of your level or sport. Recovery is a key phase that starts as soon as your workout is over. It improves your progress and is a determining factor for your performance. A post-workout self-massage is also a simple and effective way to prevent muscle soreness and injury. Add it to your training programme!

The effects of sport on your body

When you do a series of workouts without a recovery period, or when the recovery period is incomplete, you start overtraining and are at a greater risk of injury. The body is tired and the athlete won't make any more progress. They may even see their performance drop.

Recovering is therefore essential if you want to make progress, and avoid overtraining and injury. It's important in the short term for your next training session; in the medium term so you can get into shape for your next competition and reach your goals; and in the long term so you can continue enjoying your sport for the next 10 or 20 years.

 

The benefits of self-massage

●      It directly impacts damaged muscle fibres. It drains toxins that accumulate during sport.

●      It reduces knots in the muscles, also known as trigger points. It improves mobility in the massaged area and prevents delayed onset muscle soreness.

●      It reduces the feeling of fatigue. It creates a feeling of well-being and immediate muscle recovery.

●      It improves blood and lymph circulation.

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1. WHEN SHOULD YOU DO SELF-MASSAGE?

Not immediately after exercise. We recommend waiting a few minutes until your body's temperature begins to drop and you stop sweating.

For an ideal massage: hydrate, eat and do a few active recovery movements to help muscles eliminate waste that builds up during your workout. You might take a hot shower or session in the sauna to facilitate vasodilation before starting the massage.

2. HOW SHOULD YOU START?

First, relax! The muscle group to massage needs to be relaxed after your workout to prevent tension. Start by getting the muscles to release using massage techniques for at least five minutes per muscle group.

Two techniques to try:

-        Manual massage with creams, oils or balms with essential oils. Different techniques can be used: light movements over the muscles, static pressure on a tense area, gliding pressure to drain muscles, and light or deep kneading. This is a good way to effectively massage your arms and legs (link to tutorial videos).

-        With massage accessories, using back and forth or circular movements on the muscle group. The pressure from the accessories can cause a slight feeling of discomfort. This means the massage is working. If certain areas are very sensitive, spend more time there, moving slowly and using a good amount of pressure on the muscle. Accessories can be a good way to access hard-to-reach areas, such as the glutes and traps.

For the most effective result, self-massage should be done regularly, just like your workouts.

3. WHICH ACCESSORIES SHOULD YOU USE ON WHICH AREAS?

 

 

Massage STICK:

A massage stick is great for working on a larger area, helping you manage the speed and pressure applied. It is also the easiest way to start a self-massage routine because it is easier and less painful than a foam roller. A massage stick is especially good for the legs (calves, quads, hamstrings, IT band) as well as the lower back.

Massage BALL:

Small or large and rather light, a massage ball is a great ally for targeted areas and deep muscle knots (trigger points). For example, connective tissue around the shoulder blades, the traps, the arch of the foot, pecs and glutes.

FOAM ROLLER:

A foam roller works using your body weight to apply pressure to the muscles. This means it is a little more uncomfortable when you start out! For sports users who want to massage their legs, we recommend using a foam roller for the calves, quads and hamstrings. You can also massage your glutes and the lower back.

Because of the deep work on the muscles, foam rolling can cause bruising. But it's no reason for alarm!

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HAND-HELD MASSAGE TOOL:

A hand-held massage tool is a good accessory to use along with a stick or roller. Like with a stick or ball, you can choose the level of pressure.

OTHER RECOVERY TECHNIQUES

Stretching, cold and compression are all complementary recovery techniques.

Are you equipped for a proper self-massage?

FIND OUT MORE ADVICES

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A passive technique to discover for recovering after effort. We explain you everything about electrical stimulation, its benefits and how it works.
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A trigger point is a congested and inflammatory area of muscle tissue. It is a mini-contraction, a sort of knot. Merely pressing on this area with a finger is enough to cause pain or nervous system irradiation.
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