Cycling and Massage Conspire to Take Performance to a Whole New Level
First, I have to say that there is something very koom-by-ah about massage, as if the world could finally achieve peace and harmony if only everyone loosened up. Truth is, many of the same feel-good things happen to those of us who run, cycle, or participate in any physically demanding sport we claim as our own. It’s difficult, however, to explain to those who don’t get those exercise endorphin highs how similar they are and how massage and sports, such as cycling go hand in hand.
Cyclists, in particular, understand why a visit to a massage therapist is no luxury or indulgence. Instead they see it as a crucial part of their training regimen. They know that visiting a massage therapist when they are readying their bodies for the next level of skill and fitness is vital. It’s no secret professional cyclists get massaged frequently — on race days, training days, and recovery days — and especially when they sustain injuries. Even those who cycle for fun would do well by buying a massage package that permits a weekly or bi-weekly visit during the height of their cycling activities.
Massage reduces stress, pain, and discomfort brought about by intense physical demands, while it also addresses the reduction of exercise-induced inflammation, and increases range of motion of joints and muscle. By releasing and breaking up adhesions, massage helps your body recover, helping it help itself.
While self-massage is a viable on-the-spot practice for performance improvement, working with a professional therapist has the potential to up your game. Besides, working on yourself will never be as effective (nor as relaxing) as having a therapist (who knows your body up one side and down the other) take over.
Some massage modalities help cyclists with specific needs for performance. Deep tissue, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and Swedish massage are all popular with them, timed to optimize strength, durability, and flexibility at times they need it most. Sports massage can be administered right up until race time, warming and loosening muscles. Sports massage is also used for injury recovery and prevention, of course, but its greatest benefits include maximizing range of motion, lengthening muscles, and reducing fatigue.
If you are a cyclist who regularly takes to the roads, bike paths and/or mountain tops, call me for a consultation on how we can get you on a regular diet of massage therapy. See for yourself just how effective adding massage to your cycling efforts can be, improving your performance and as a result, your cycling satisfaction.