Massage before, or after working out?
When should you book your sports massage, you ask? Most believe you should get a massage after your workout. After all, you feel tired, you want to relax your muscles - what better way to do that than to book a massage?
Well, this is not actually the case. I believe a massage before your workout is most beneficial.
You know that sore feeling you get the day after working out? That's lactic acid building up in your muscles. When we workout, our muscles use oxygen as fuel. When our muscles don't have enough oxygen, they use other resources as fuel. The byproduct of this action is a build up of lactic acid in our muscles. When there is an excess of lactic acid in the muscles, it makes us sore. Not good
So that's when you should get a massage, right? You can, but there is actually no proof that massage gets rid of this lactic acid in the muscles. Check out this article for more info: Massage After Exercise Myth Busted
So does that really solve the problem? What if there was a way to prevent that soreness altogether?
When we get a massage one of the health benefits (and there are many) is that we systematically increase circulation throughout the body with new, fresh, oxygenated blood. If you get a massage before you workout, you're filling your muscles with this oxygen. You're basically charging your battery to its highest capacity so that when you're finished working out, you have extra battery life left to spare. The idea is there is more fuel for your muscles and less waste output.
More oxygen = less lactic acid = less soreness
Therefore, the chances of being sore the day after are greatly reduced if you get a massage before you workout.
You're welcome! :-)
Extra tip: When you book your session, be clear with your therapist on what your goals are and what you expect out of the massage. We know a lot of different techniques that will benefit you in many different ways, so don't be afraid to be specific!