When you strive to be the best your body has to collaborate and be on the same wave lenght with our dreams.
However, because of the world we have created for ourselves such as the chairs we sit on, the shoes we wear, the desk we work at, our bodies suffer and lose the capacity to go beyond their limits. And if we do attempt to push them, we break them, sometimes literally. Then it’s GAME OVER.
There are, however, ways we can aid our bodies to be and stay strong, comfortable and ready to push the boundaries of human potential.
Do my mother massages count?
I’ve been training and competing since the age of 8 (now I’m 28), and before last year I never had a sports massage (do my mother massages count?).
Last year I finally understood why in the past 5 years my performance slowly went down, I kept getting injured more often and last for longer, my body was becoming difficult to manage at a high level of performance.
Based on my experience training hard and pushing boundaries can only be achieved if all elements of your body flawlessly connect and work together as a whole.
What are the benefits of sports massage for Athletes
These are some of the benefits of sports massage for athletes I experienced:
1. Better and more fluid movement
In almost any sport how fluid your body moves is critical. If it’s stiff and tight then movement will be slow, difficult, painful and unnatural. Performance will be low.
Sports massage techniques gives the body more freedom of movement with less risk of sports injuries. Sounds good right? It improves balance, flexibility, mobility, speed and strength all by releasing those tensions placed on your body every day and every training session. This is freedom of movement.
2. Increased endurance
Endurance is not only from a cardiovascular point of view but your joints have to hold when you run through rivers, lakes, jump and land on and off high platforms, jump in and out of ditches and so on.
No matter how much you train your lungs, if you ankles give up in the middle of the race or tournament you either need to stop or continue and risk a long term injury and then no more competing.
Joints, ligaments and tendons as well as muscle fibres need to be prepared for impact and have to keep up with this pressure for hours at once.
Sports remedial massage therapy give your body a strong foundation on which movement can take place at lower risks.
3. Faster recovery from sports injuries
In 20 years of competitive sport I had my share of injuries, and it’s not over yet. From my first sports massage session I noticed my old sports injuries starting to back up and new ones healing faster.
With sport massage I keep injuries in check and slowly building my body to function faster, stronger but most of all smarter.
4. Recovery from training sessions
Someone wise once told me that fitness is not about how well you perform an exercise but how well and fast you recover from/after it.
Our bodies require rest to recover. And resting means relaxing the body and allowing it to heal. However, if our bodies are tensed and tight recovery will be much slower.
So one of the many benefits of sports massage therapy (reduce stress) is the fact that it releases tensions and pressures around the body, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments , everywhere we need to recover for the next session.
5. Benefits of sports massage for better sleep
This is a very important and often overlooked element in every in my opinion. Everyone sleeps but how many of us have a good sleep to wake up refreshed and ready to start the day right away? Not many.
Sleeping is the only time when our bodies naturally heals. Sports massage gave me just this. With a more relaxed body my mind could relax as well, I could let go of physical and mental stress and give my body the chance to heal.
I sleep better and wake up with more energy ready to start my day.
A complete athlete is not the one who trains hard all the time, who pushes herself until the body breaks down. A complete athlete acknowledges, manages and uses her body in the most efficient way. A top athlete Trains Hard but also Trains Smart.
Alexandra Merisoiu London personal trainer
London Health Coach Striving For Athletic Perfection
Everyone has certain motivation triggers. Personally, I have always strived for perfection. Knowing I will never reach it, not even knowing what perfection is for that matter, makes me push harder and harder.
Sometimes I go too far and my body “shouts” at me. For example a weakened immune system or an injury. Then I know that I went a little bit too far. But it’s all a learning curve, we all go through it. So I want now to give you an idea of my schedule.
I am a coach, I coach women outdoors, and I focus on mental wellbeing. I teach top athlete Trains Hard but also Trains Smart which is based on Six Essential Principles:
- Zanshin or mindfulness
- Natural movement
- Personal development
- Habits transformation
And through it I help professional women let go of stress and overcome depression and anxiety.
I am also a competitive athlete. I hold National Titles and a 2nd world raking in Karate Shotokan. Today I compete for England at a National and International level. It’s demanding, physically but most of all mentally.
On top of that I have a passion for Obstacle Course Races. And when I have a strong passion for something I have the urge to be better and better at it, even then best if possible. So my goal this year is to be part of the Wild Forest Gym Elite OCR TEAM.
And added to all this of course I am an entrepreneur, pushing boundaries in directions and on paths I never ever thought possible. Actually I never knew those paths even existed for me to take them.
I push those boundaries but I don’t do it alone but working with my business and life coach Amanda Watts, founder of Clients in Abundance and Awaken Your Magic. She is looking after me and makes sure I am on the right path all the time, no matter what.
Physical benefits of sports massage help professional athletes
How does my life actually look like… Well, it’s boring, but it’s productive and effective. I get a lot done, fast.
So here is how few of my days look like that should give you an idea of the physical stress and mental pressure and why the the psysical benefits of sports massage therapy is one of the best ways to cope with them.
Monday I coach 2 of my clients, one at 7am and another at 11am(that’s because I need to travel between locations).
When I coach my clients I do at least 50% of the session with them unless I have a bad injury. Then I do my own intense workout if the 2 were not very intense sessions. By the time I get home it’s past 3 pm. From 3 pm to 11pm I work on my business.
Tuesday is one of the most magical and most difficult days. That’s because I wake up at 4:30am to go training with my OCR coach. I get back home at 10am.
At that point I need to sleep, so I sleep 1-2 hours max. And this is the most difficult day because from noon until 10pm I sit all day working on my business.
Friday morning I train myself outdoors. Then I do business development for about 8 hours followed by a nap and a 2h30 min of Karate Training session.
And my Sensei has no hesitation pairing me with all the big and bulky guys in the Dojo for free sparring. Luckily my body has adapted so well over the 20 years of sports that although my body hurts I have no visible bruises.
Saturday is a long coaching day. My own training is incorporated within those sessions where I look at fine tuning techniques and movement.
Sunday is again a 2.5 hours Karate Day and business development as well as personal development.
Sports massage clinic in london is usually squeezed somewhere in the week. As well as yoga, another Karate session and other additional, but critical, aspects of being an athlete. But my week is not the same all the time. The days I mentioned are probably the only ones that stay the same, more or less, from week to week.
All in all I believe that if I did not have the outdoors I would not be able to cope with everything as well as I do. And sports massage give my body that extra support it needs to keep going on preventing sports injuries.